Nina Nightingale's Charm School: Needle Felting - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Nina Nightingale's Charm School: Needle Felting

$15 per device Online Experience
1 hour
See Dates
$15 per device
$15 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

Nina Nightingale's Charm School is in session.

From silhouette portraits and hair reliquaries to postage stamp flirtation and suffragette tea parties, join curiosity artist and host Nina Nightingale in exploring history's most fascinating disciplines and their hidden origins! During each hour-long virtual live show, Nina will guide you through the basics of a specific craft, tell you about its often surprising importance in the cultural landscape, and take any questions that might come up along the way. Part Home Ec, part AP History, Nina Nightingale’s Charm School won't teach you how to be more genteel, but you’ll learn why crafting was never that polite anyway.


Felt might conjure up visions of cheap rainbow sheets in the kid’s crafting aisle, but it's actually the oldest form of fabric in history, with felted artifacts from 600 CE found completely preserved by permafrost in a Siberian tomb. Felt-making has been used in so many endeavors including ancient shelter building for yurts and rugs; in clothing and shoes; in gardening and agriculture; in musical instruments; and even in the electronic and automotive industries for sealants and vibration dampening. In this episode of Charm School, we’ll discuss some curious facts about this industrious textile —including how its manufacturing process gave us the Mad Hatter archetype—then you’ll be guided through the basics of needle felting. By the end this experience, you’ll have the skills to start making roving from yarn scraps and use those to make your own felted coasters and basic jewelry!

Class Supplies (if you wish to work along):

at least one felting needle, size 38 and 40 if you can get two

scrap bits of yarn

1-2 pet brushes or a carder, if you’re already a fiber artist

a large sponge or piece of foam

polyfil, cotton balls, hair, dryer lint, or pet fur

Optional Supplies:

cookie cutters

leather scrap

needle and thread

a wine cork

Where We’ll Be


About Your Host
Nina Nightingale
Nina Nightingale

Hello! My name is Nina Nightingale and I am a professional fine artist practicing the very rare art of SILHOUETTE PORTRAITURE, in which I cut your likeness from paper with no writing instruments—simply freehand drawing with scissors. This art of "shadow cutting" was popular before photography was made affordable. Silhouette portraiture is one part history and one part how-does-she-do-it?

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Online Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share. Now, more than ever, there’s a need to stay connected—not only to our sense of wonder, but to each other.

We encourage you to follow and share the hashtag #AOExperiences for more incredible online experiences and our newest addition of Online Courses with Atlas Obscura and our friends. And check out, the definitive guide to the world’s hidden wonders, to keep virtually exploring the world through the website’s atlas of amazing places, unique stories, and videos.

Dates and Availability

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