Turn massive amounts of fluffy wool into something smaller. That is my goal as I try to organize the workshop end of my shop so that I can get to my looms. I think there is a principle of physics in here somewhere.
I have been making dryer balls to sell but it has been hit or miss. Sometimes they turn out great and other times they are not so good. What makes a good dryer ball? Firm instead of squishy. A sphere instead of strips of felted wool connected in random places. The success of a dryer ball has to do with the type of wool (breed of sheep) and the fiber preparation (carded or not). As I use up odds and ends of fiber I’m never sure if the end result will be worth the time and use of fiber so I decided to do some testing.
This is the “before” showing 17 different wool types and/or preparations from wool that I drum carded wool to commercial top to pre-felted wool and breeds including Merino, Jacob, and Suffolk. I included a different color of yarn with fibers that I might need help to identify after felting.
This photo shows the “after” in the same order as the “before” photo. The least successful here were the “white prefelt”and the Suffolk. You might not be able to tell from the photo, but they did not felt hard at all. The Merino/alpaca felted well, but the alpaca fibers poke out giving a hairy appearance. Some of the other balls have more “hairiness” depending on the amount of coarse fibers in the mix of wool.
Another view of the same balls.
This is the latest batch of balls that just need to be matched up and labeled. The white balls are mostly Merino and the gray balls are Jacob wool.