I guess, first be sure your oven is set about 250
second, I use the middle rack
third, make sure the dowels don't flip up and touch the heating element...had that happen once!
fourth - how long did you leave them in? I started out, quite tediously, with 18 minutes and then worked up to 24...that is what works in my oven
I don't wet the dowel or the ribbon either, everything goes in dry
Hope that helps...anyone else have any idea what may have happenned?