Artisanal little luxuries, with big impact

We believe an object can elevate both beholder and maker. In a world of mass-produced goods, we offer artisan-made home and apparel crafted in fair-trade environments from around the globe. We strive to live fully, slow down to enjoy life’s little luxuries, and choose everyday to create a world connecting maker, owner and earth.

September 16, 2020 4 min read

SEPT 18, 2020

How We Make Our Alpaca Dryer Balls

Who knew a Peruvian Alpaca would be saving the planet, not to mention your wallet, just by changing up your laundry cycle!

Alpaca Balls vs Dryer Sheets

Most of us are used to using the classic dryer sheet when switching our laundry over from the wash. Why? Because that’s what our parents did!

Don’t want wrinkly clothes? Dryer sheet!
Don’t want your favourite tank top to be static-y? Dryer sheet!

What most of us aren’t aware of, however, is how toxic these disposable dryer sheets can be - for the planet and our households!

Dryer Balls: The Natural, Reusable Fabric Softener

These natural alpaca balls are more effective than industrial dryer sheets at softening laundry, reducing static, and removing wrinkles. They’ve also got the added benefits of reducing dryer time, energy use, and household cost.

 Let’s see what else you need to know about these reusable and locally sourced laundry savers!

The Process: How Alpaca Dryer Balls are Made

Made from 50% alpaca and 50% wool, these alpaca balls are hand-made, one-by-one, by a cooperative of skilled, female Peruvian artisans.

In collaboration with localalpaqueros (which is a Spanish word meaning alpaca farmers), our artisans source the alpacas and wool directly from the farmers in their community.

Step 1: Collect the Fabric

The process begins by taking handfuls of the alpaca and wool to gradually felt them into solid, felted balls.

Step 2: Secure in Place

The artisans then use water and soap to secure and felt the fibre.

Step 3: Roll it Out

They gradually roll the wet fibre in their hands, until eventually the ball is at the right size (9.5" circumference).

Step 4: Let it Dry

Then they leave the balls out to dry in the sun.

Once fully dried, the balls are collected in boxes and shipped to our warehouse in Hull, Quebec, where our Operations Team prepares them for shipping to our community.

How to Use Alpaca Dryer Balls

Simply take 3 dryer balls and throw them in with your medium load to dry, the same way you would with a dryer sheet.

The alpaca balls will absorb moisture and increase air circulation, causing wind in the dryer.

This wind effect reduces dryer time while replacing the harsh chemicals used in conventional dryer sheets and plastic dryer balls.

3 Benefits to Using Alpaca Dryer Balls

1. No harm to your dryer

2. No unraveling

3. No stressing and staining of your clothing

Since these natural fabric softeners are reusable, you can bet we thought of everything to maximize their sustainability.

Just 3 balls will last you over 500+ loads of laundry! For a highly valuable one-time-only cost, your laundry will actually dry faster, requiring less wattage and electricity, saving you money on your next hydro bill.

And just like that, your dry cycle just became money saving!

How to Safely Dispose of your Alpaca Dryer Balls

Our alpaca dryer balls are 100% biodegradable, you can plant your alpaca dryer balls in the garden or compost when you’re done with them. When planted in soil, the alpaca balls release valuable nutrients into the earth.

Because when we take resources from the Earth, we like to do our part in giving something back!

*The average American family washes about 300 loads of laundry each year.

Co-Founders Jessie Lyon (left), and Case Bakker (right), learning to make our popular alpaca dryer balls with the artisans in Peru.

Why Alpaca Balls Are A Perfect Fit For Your Home

Trust us when we tell you there is a reason these alpaca balls are one of our best sellers! 100% pure and ecologically friendly, these highly durable dryer balls are a great addition to your laundry. These are some of the ethical and practical benefits of Poko Alpaca Dryer Balls:

  • 100% chemical free
  • Anti-microbial
  • Reusable for 500+ loads
  • A superior softener to regular wool
  • A saver of your time, energy, and money… and
  • Wool sensitivity safe: wool and alpaca will not rub off on clothing

Just to name a few...

Add a Dash of Colour to Your Alpaca Balls

You can also customize your alpaca dryer balls without the worry of adding chemicals to the mix.

With our completely natural dyes, you can choose up to 3 different colours made from onion (for yellow), corn (for green/sage) and cochineal (for purple).

Worry-not: our natural dyes won’t run on your clothing, either! Meaning your whites will safely stay that way. :)

If you’re ready to convert your laundry cycle into an energy saving, environmentally friendly endeavour, feel free to grab a pack of your own Alpaca Dryer Balls.

Written by Katelyn Wells, BA Media Production, Poko Blogger

Katelyn is a local freelance copywriter with a passion for the environment.She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she spends her mornings on the mat, youtube-ing how to avoid yoga injuries.