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A Life In Tartan

Telling the story of the exciting and forward thinking work of Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers, as we maintain the traditions of the past while giving them a confident and vibrant place in the future. From the perspective of a kiltmaker, the story of kiltmaking past and present will be brought to light through these articles. From the history of tartan and highlandwear to thoughts on where the industry is today.

The Author

Edinburgh-born Emma is a graduate of The University of Edinburgh BA(Hons) Textiles and the Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy, and the first kiltmaker to have been awarded a Scholarship to pursue the craft by the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust – a prestigious organisation responsible for nurturing craftspeople keeping heritage skills alive.

In 2018, she won the Hand & Lock Prize for embroidery with a piece celebrating Edinburgh’s harmonious relationship between old and new. In 2019, she used her scholarship from the Embroider’s Guild to create a collection of fabulous embroidered highlandwear. And, as a textiles designer, she’s won awards from the Worshipful Company of Dyers and The Incorporation of Bonnetmakers & Dyers of Edinburgh too.

Emma has also found time to make many kilts for GNK’s lucky customers – who expect, and deserve, nothing but the best.

Full archive of articles available here – A Life in Tartan

Emma Wilkinson


Gordon Modern

Animo non Astutia– By Courage not by Craft Clan Gordon has records dating back 900 years, to around the 1100’s. Throughout the Wars of Independence, they were strong supporters of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce who followed him. It was following this that the Gordons’ took on the title of Earl of Huntly, laterContinue reading “Gordon Modern”