If you live in the knitosphere, at some point or other you are going to come across felting, that magical process by which 100% wool becomes a fabric through agitating for a while in your washing machine or being stuck with a needle. My romance with felting began with a simple pouch and evolved into a quest for chemical-free laundry. Along the way, I discovered that you can drop felted wool dryer balls in the dryer instead of fabric softener, so I made myself a set.
In a friend’s Facebook post I mentioned what I’d done and he asked me to make him a set. So I did, and then another friend asked, then another…and a little cottage business was born, BellaKnitta Wool Dryer Balls. Here are some fun facts about dryer balls you can find there:
What are wool dryer balls? They are balls made of 100% wool that you toss in the dryer with your wet clothes. They tumble about and act as a natural fabric softener.
Why should I use wool dryer balls? So many reasons!
1. They make your clothes soft and scent free without the toxic chemicals found in bottled fabric softener or dryer sheets. Moms love them for drying baby’s cloth diapers.
2. They eliminate static cling.
3. They dry your clothes in about one third the time, so you get your wash done faster.
4. Because your clothes dry faster, you use less energy and pay less money to do your wash.
5. They’re just so darn cute and will love living in your dryer!
How many do I need? Six is sufficient for a normal dryer load. For a jumbo load, you may use up to 12.
How big are they? About the size of a tennis ball.
How long do they last? A set should last from 500 to 1,000 dryer cycles. When you notice it’s taking longer to dry your clothes, then it’s time for a new set.
How do you make them? I make each ball by hand out of 100% wool roving from a family farm in North Carolina. Roving is the sheared wool that when spun makes yarn. I use a process called needle felting to make each ball, and each ball takes from 30 to 40 minutes to make. This process does not use energy or water, as other felting processes do, so it saves precious resources.
So…don’t you want some wool dryer balls? You’re in luck — I’m giving away a set of six. Just use the form below to enter (U.S. residents only). You’ll also receive occasional news from BellaKnitta by entering. The giveaway starts today, January 15 and ends February 14. Good luck!