Emma Wilkinson

2018 QEST Scholar - Kiltmaking
East Lothian

Kiltmaking came very organically to Emma. Upon graduating from Edinburgh College of Art with a degree in textiles, and having trained in embroidery at Hand & Lock, she decided to look back at what makes her truly tick – a deep love of her Edinburgh home, heritage and the continuation of traditional hand based crafts. All of these lead to kiltmaking! A QEST Scholarship allowed Emma to undertake an intensive kiltmaking course at the Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy, allowing her to gain an extensive knowledge of tartan, weaving and tailoring and to qualify and immediately start working as a kiltmaker at Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers. For Emma, it’s not just a job, it’s a passion. She hopes to secure the future of this aged craft, make the industry a positive place and help pave the way in its adapting to the 21st century.

Kiltmaking isn’t just my job, it’s my life! I’m so deeply interested in every aspect of it, from the perfect finish of every kilt to the history of tartan. I feel like a tiny part of history every time I make a kilt or design a new tartan.