How To Dry Wool Sweaters, Duvets And Other Unconventional Fabrics

Much like with their sibling, the washing machine, dryers are often victims of being over-loaded with all manner of fabrics and clothing items. And, like with washing machines, dryers are sometimes filled with items that really shouldn’t be there.

The wrong fabric, or the wrong setting, can be particularly damaging to a particular type of clothing. But before you begin to feel stressed out over how to work out what should or shouldn’t go in the dryer… don’t worry. We’re here with this short guide to help you be more informed about  those unconventional, delicate fabrics and how they should (or shouldn’t) be used with a dryer.

So, let’s begin:


Wool Sweater

The sweater was long mocked by some as a relic of previous generations, or as a representation of love and/or hatred for the festive period. But the sweater is very much back in style. The key to drying sweaters – whether they are wool, cotton, angora or silk – is to lay them out as flat as possible to dry. You see, hanging them will just stretch out the shoulder areas, and drying them in a dryer will likely shrink them – so laying them out flat avoids both these problems. With that said, if your sweater is acrylic, it can be tumble dried on a low heat setting.

Duvets and Down

Down jacket

Down products – such as jackets, quilts and duvets – are an essential part of winter living in the UK. While there isn’t much problem to washing them in your conventional washing machine (past capacity issues), duvets and quilts are infamous for being a horrific, soggy mess when washed. This state, and their large size, makes them tricky to dry. Thankfully, there’s a way around this. To fluff up down, making it more like its everyday form and easier to dry, stick a tennis ball or two in with the down on a low heat setting. The tennis balls (alternatively, aluminium foil or dryer balls) will ‘punch’ the down – keeping it nice and fluffy. However, as this process will take more than a few hours, make sure to stop the dryer every 30 minutes or so to manually fluff the down items to avoid clumping.

Running Shoes

Running shoes

Either filled with the sweaty results of our impeccable training exercises, or drenched in the produce of the UK’s ‘favourite’ weather type, our trainers and running shoes can take a bit of a beating. As such, they need to be regularly cleaned. While they are largely fine to be tossed into a washing machine and a dryer, they can cause a fair bit of noise during a cycle. To counteract this, you could either buy a shoe rack for your dryer, trap the shoe laces in the dryer door (to reduce how much they can move about) or go with the classic – scrunched up newspaper on the inside, with a radiator close-by on the outside.


Cashmere blouse

A lot of cashmere wool garments tend to be pretty much ‘hand wash only’. However, it’s worth checking the tag to see if it can stand up to a delicate wash. When it comes to drying them – especially cashmere sweaters – it’s worth placing the garment on top of a towel. Roll up the towel – with your cashmere garment facing the inside – to get rid of any excess water from the wash. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to leave your garment to dry – either on a clean towel (not the previously used one) or on a rack.

Sequinned Clothing

Sequin Dress

Got clothing with sequins on them? Well, it might be best to avoid putting them in your tumble dryer. You see, sequins can not only get stuck to your dryer’s drum, the heat can actually melt them – fusing you them to the inside of your dryer and causing all sorts of problems. The best approach to drying such clothing is to just hang it up to dry or on a rack. If it’s knitted, you should lay it flat. As we mentioned earlier, this is because knitted clothing – particularly the likes of cashmere, wool and angora – can actually stretch when it’s hung!



Finally, we finish with bras. This type of undergarment is often shoved in with other clothes when it comes to being washed and dried. This should be avoided because bras actually have the potential to get caught in the drum of a dryer due to them being comprised of straps, underwires and clasps. As such, they should be dried either by being laid flat or by being hung dry. If you choose the latter, make sure to hang them by the centre rather than by the straps – this is because the straps can stretch and get out of shape.

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