Friction in the dryer causes the clothing to become charged.
Work Step by Step
The clothing becomes charged because it rubs against other clothes and the walls of the dryer. When you place it near your skin, it polarizes the molecules of your skin (Figure 16–9). Within the skin, the charge regions that are the same sign as the excess charge on the clothing are repelled and shift farther away. The clothing is then attracted to the opposite charges within your skin that are closer to it.