Emma Wilkinson

A Life in Tartan

Welcome to my story: a life in tartan, embroidery, kiltmaking and a commitment to making the Scottish textiles industry exciting and promising.


Tartan Day USA

April 6th marks Tartan Day in the United States. This day is accompanied by celebrations, kilt wearing, tartan pageantry and, usually, a parade through New York City.This year, the world has faced unprecedented challenges New York cannot come together to celebrate tartan, but we can still talk about our experiences of it. In this timeContinue reading “Tartan Day USA”

Forbes Modern

Made March 2020 Cloth from Lochcarron of Scotland, heavyweight, pleated to the sett. The Forbes:“Grace me Guide”The Forbes are a Scottish Highland Clan calling Aberdeenshire home. They are attached to many iconic Scottish castles such as Craigievar, Culloden House and their, still, current seat Castle Forbes in Alford. The name itself was assumed from theContinue reading “Forbes Modern”

Matheson Hunting Ancient

Made in March 2020 Cloth from House of Edgar, mediumweight, pleated to the sett. The Mathesons:“Do and hope.”Mathieson or Matheson translates from Gaelic as “the son of the bear”…and, to lowlanders, “son of Matthew”. This clan is rooted in the earldoms of Ross in the Scottish Highlands. In the 1200s, the Mathieson’s stood with theContinue reading “Matheson Hunting Ancient”

MacFarlane Modern

Made in March 2020 Cloth from Lochcarron of Scotland, mediumweight, pleated to the sett. The MacFarlanes:” This I’ll Defend“Descendants of the medieval Lords of Lennox, this highland clan held roots on the western shore of Loch Lomond, from Tarbert up-wards.The full moon became known as “MacFarlanes Lantern” due to their frequent night time cattle raids,Continue reading “MacFarlane Modern”

Hand & Lock Prize 2018

The Hand & Lock Prize is one of the best showcases of embroidery in the world. It celebrates contemporary designers showcasing their take on the brief set annually. In 2018 I entered. Hand & Lock has been an embroidery atelier based in London for over 250 years and recently received the honour of a RoyalContinue reading “Hand & Lock Prize 2018”

Tartan Design: Wilkinson

It’s obvious that I am obsessed with tartan…and as a result I’m a budding tartan designer. For those who have met me you will know that I pretty much wear all black every day…basically I cut about Edinburgh looking like Professor Snape BUT my work is pretty much always colour lead. I imagine things basedContinue reading “Tartan Design: Wilkinson”

Jardine Dress Modern

Made in January 2020 Cloth from Strathmore, hand sewn, pleated to the sett.https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanLargeImage?ref=1883 The Jardines: The name Jardine derives from the French “Jardin” meaning “Garden”. There is now suggestion, however, that they were gardeners, but instead it is thought they resided near gardens and so this name was adopted as Du Jardon.The name appears inContinue reading “Jardine Dress Modern”

Race Against Dementia: Ben Nevis Challenge

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emmawilkinson93 This year I’m raising money for Race Against Dementia. This April I will climb Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK. This will be a difficult but memorable challenge, a task that one hopes to remember forever. Sadly, dementia prevents this for so many. My family has been effected twice by this disease.Continue reading “Race Against Dementia: Ben Nevis Challenge”

Collections: Rebuild

My appreciation for heritage and luxurious textiles was truly solidified in my graduate collection entitled “Rebuild”. I was inspired by my home town, Edinburgh, and the way in which the old and the new here work in both in harmony and in contrast. Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful places in the world, itContinue reading “Collections: Rebuild”

Erskine Black&White

Made January 2020 Cloth from House of Edgar, hand sewn kilt pleated to the stripe.I like to know a wee bit about the tartans I’m working with and the people they mean something to. I like to do a little research of the tartan itself and the clan it belongs to. The Erskines: Black andContinue reading “Erskine Black&White”

Collaboration : Bana Whisky

In 2019, I collaborated with talented graphic designer Holly Goodall in bringing her concept whisky Bana to life. Her vision was to create a whisky branded with women whisky fans in mind, a step away from the similar whisky aesthetic from distilleries across Scotland. Like my vision for making kiltmaking a desirable profession for youngContinue reading “Collaboration : Bana Whisky”

My Favourite Tartan…

HIGHLAND MIST My favourite tartan…out of over 13,000 designs on the Scottish Register of Tartans, is Highland Mist. It’s special in that it is a true non-matching or a-symmetric tartan which means it doesn’t reflect every direction but instead only repeats one way. It’s slightly jarring to the high to begin with, especially if youContinue reading “My Favourite Tartan…”

Baird Modern

February 2020 – working on a Baird Modern kilt Cloth from House of Edgar, hand sewn kilt pleated to the sett. The Bairds: The name Baird has a long history in Scotland and is largely to be found in the lowlands. It is said the first Baird in Scotland saved William the Lion from beingContinue reading “Baird Modern”

Kiltmaking: The Present

Lets chat about how I ended up a kiltmaker and what, presently is happening in the industry… You’ll know a bit about me and my path from my previous post. It was initially blindly collating my passions and interests to figure out my niche that lead me organically into becoming a kiltmaker. I wanted toContinue reading “Kiltmaking: The Present”

Welcome – Fàilte

Fàilte – Welcome, Scottish Gaelic Thank you for getting this far! My name is Emma Wilkinson, a designer, embroiderer and kiltmaker from Edinburgh, Scotland. I have big plans for this blog! I want to finally get my passion for the industry I work in out there, share my learning and experiences and all the thingsContinue reading “Welcome – Fàilte”

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