Have you wanted to add a little homestead-chic to your home? Do you appreciate all-natural fibers? Would you like to make laundry more enjoyable?
These sets of wool dryer balls will do all of that and more. Each set of three comes in its own drawstring bag which can be hung anywhere in your laundry room. But wait: what *is* a dryer ball?
Dryer balls are tossed in the dryer with your wet laundry to shorten drying time and decrease wrinkles, eliminating the need for dryer sheets. If you forget to take things out of the dryer in a timely way (it happens to the best of us) just spritz each ball with a little water and restart the dryer. The steam released and the action of the balls bouncing around the laundry will get most of those wrinkles back out.
You can find commercial dryer balls made of many materials including silicone, and some people even choose to use clean tennis balls. Wool dryer balls are superior to those options because they do not release potentially harmful chemicals, do not leave an odd smell, and are much quieter in the dryer. Some inexpensive dryer balls are made with wool wrapped around a core of some other material, but for best results you want 100% wool dryer balls.
Mine are made from extremely tightly wound, undyed vintage wool yarn (which could not be used for knitting, but found a good use anyway!), boiled, dried (these steps felt the wool), covered with organic wool fleece and washed and dried again, then needle-felted with additional wool fleece. Some were covered with colored wool after the first felting and some were needle-felted with various patterns in multiple colors. (The tiny holes you see in the photos are the result of the last round of needle-felting. These disappear with use.) Some pilling of the wool will undoubtedly occur with use but this does not reduce their effectiveness. While these balls are essentially scent-free, you may notice a faint scent of lanolin (this is natural wool, after all!) while they are still damp if you wash them. This disappears when they are dried. If you like you can add a few drops of essential oil to one or more of the dryer balls before using. Just make sure this dries/soaks in before you add it to your laundry to prevent any oil stains.
It is recommended to use at least three balls for a smallish load of laundry, and more as the load size increases. There is no real limit to the number you can use, I suppose, but to avoid the neighbors talking you may want to stick to less than a dozen. Speaking of which, each bag can hold a dozen balls (I checked).
Did I neglect to discuss the drawstring bags? Each one is handmade from authentic vintage feedsack which is durable and breathable cotton in a variety of lovely prints. The drawstring is three-ply cotton cord which I secured by whipping the ends with thread. On each bag is hand-stitched a rectangle of linen, hand-embroidered with “wool” and a few flowers matching the fabric pattern. These are perfect for hanging the dryer balls when not in use and there is plenty of room to add additional balls as your collection grows. (You might as well plan for it to grow because babies and pets like to abscond with these whenever possible.)
Color Options: The current sets available are Primary (blue, green, yellow), Natural (undyed), Marbled (in pink/purple, yellow/orange, and blue/green), and Patterned (polka dots, swirl, and daisies)
Size: Each dryer ball is between 2.75 and 3 inches (a little larger than a tennis ball), and a set of three in a bag weighs between 8 to 9 ounces.
Care: These can go oodles of uses before you might even *possibly* need to give them extra care. If you think they could use some freshening, pop each one in a sock or discarded stocking and send them through a regular wash cycle along with any laundry. Afterward, put them in the dryer to dry. They may take a couple drying cycles since wool absorbs so much water. In between laundry days let them air in a basket or in the handy included cotton bag. When they finally retire after years of use, they are compostable!