Meet the Team


Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy courses are taught by EKA Alumni themselves!

Kirsty, Helen and Rachel are exceptionally passionate and well practiced in handmade kiltmaking. They never stop learning and strive to make skill sharing in the kiltmaking industry the norm, in a bid to give handmade kiltmaking a strong and secure future with each and every kilt made to the highest standard.


Kirsty Kinnear

Head of The Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy, Tutor & Kiltmaker

Kirsty has made wonderful developments to the kiltmaking courses here at EKA. But to go back to the beginning of her journey - Kirsty trained at the Academy herself, looking to forge a new career working with her hands - the thing she'd always loved to do. Taking to kiltmaking immediately, Kirsty soon qualified and began working as a kiltmaker, quickly being asked back to run the course.

Kirsty is responsible for some of the best kiltmakers you could possibly find. Her patience and commitment to her students is a huge attribute to EKA and all those who study here. Kirsty never stops learning herself and developing elements of the course - the mark of a great teacher. She has led EKA from strength to strength, offers ongoing support to students, alumni and kiltmakers looking for advice. It's thanks to Kirsty's hard work and passion for kiltmaking, that EKA now offers the most comprehensive kiltmaking course in the world!


Helen McDermott

Tutor, Sewing room Manager & Kiltmaker

Helen is a fully fledged kiltmaker, who learnt her craft at Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy. She has made hundreds of kilts for Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers and continues to do so alongside her teaching. When she's not teaching Helen can be found running the sewing room and managing the team of kiltmakers for GNK.

Having completed a Fashion Design for Industry BAHons Degree at Heriot Watt University and previously working in the bridal industry and on the costume department of Game of Thrones, Helen has a wealth of sewing knowledge!

Helen is hugely passionate about kiltmaking and all it entails - a trait EKA students benefit from a great deal. Always looking to learn, develop and improve, these attributes have benefitted the progression of EKA hugely.


Rachel Smith

EKA Tutor, Alumni and Kiltmaker

Rachel has had a varied career, doing scientific research and, latterly, as a trainer in medical research law.

All the while, sewing has been Rachel's much loved hobby. She always loved making things and throughout the first lockdown, took
the plunge! She decided to leave all that travelling for work behind her and retrain at EKA as a kiltmaker.

Rachel never imagined how kiltmaking would get under her skin. She loved it from day one, and has never looked back.

Rachel finds passing on the skills that she was taught at EKA so rewarding; playing a tiny part in keeping the craft alive.

We're so happy to welcome Rachel back to EKA this year, this time as a tutor and talented kiltmaker with a great deal of knowledge and enthusiasm to pass on to her lucky students!