About EKA

Our Story

Founded by Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers in 2016, the goal behind the Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy was simple - Standardise the practice of kiltmaking to the highest possible level and secure the future of handmade kilts.

For too long the standard of this hand craft had been slipping - there was no telling what quality of kilt a customer would receive and those with the knowledge of kiltmaking were reluctant to shout about it, despite the demand for handmade kilts growing.

Gordon Nicolson devised EKA in a bid to keep the skill going, bring it out of the shadows and train up new, talented kiltmakers who would set the standard.

Now, through EKA training, kiltmakers can confidently and consistently create the best quality hand sewn kilts for each and every customer. A new generation of kiltmakers is successfully being trained and the skill upheld at the highest level, ensuring a solid future for this beautiful craft.

Gordon Nicolson - Managing Director of Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers & Founder of EKA

"Running a successful business on the Royal mile we were always looking for a reliable quality of kiltmaker, so in order to service our requirements and increase the profile of kiltmaking, I decided to set up EKA , teaching the skill to the highest standard.

Since our first group of EKA students in 2016, we have reviewed the course, listened to students feedback and made major improvements in every aspect of the way the EKA courses are being delivered.

2020 is the first year we have had a waiting list for the EKA course showing both the success and popularity of the course and the demand for this historic and most traditional heritage skill.

Over the years we have taught students from other kilt shops, helped students start up their own businesses and the thing that makes me the happiest is seeing the sheer enjoyment and fun students get from the course - keeping in touch through the EKA Alumni and elite band of Kiltmakers."

What we do

Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy offers the most comprehensive kiltmaking course, right in the heart of Edinburgh, nestled within the walls of Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers. Our students not only gain a great deal of skill and knowledge here, but always find a network of like-minded friends and colleagues - endless laughs are had as we take on kiltmaking!

EKA students develop into, not only, skilled and confident kiltmakers, making to the highest possible standard, but also well rounded members of the wider Highlandwear community. Students receive expert tuition from kiltmakers and EKA alumni themselves - our EKA tutors never stop learning and developing their skills, the mark of any good teacher! Class sizes are small to allow for one-to-one time each and every class and tailoring of the course to suit individual students needs. The course has a significant amount of 'home working' between class days, for which time and space will be a consideration for applicants. As part of the Full Course, EKA students also take part in a measuring master class, so they understand how kilts fit the body and can take on their own clients following completion of the course. They also take a trip down to our friends at Lochcarron of Scotland, world renowned weavers, to learn a wee bit more about tartan and its production. Students are also privy to a history talk, detailing the full story of kilts and tartan and its place in Scottish history, helping them become well rounded, knowledgable kiltmakers, confident within the Highlandwear industry.

We aim to make our courses as accessible as possible. We do ask that all applicants considering taking on kiltmaking have some hand sewing experience in advance of applying - there is a lot to learn, so having the basics is the best start. Our Full Course is designed to be worked around work/life commitments you may already have, our visitor workshop and introductory courses are perfect for those looking to get a small insight into the world of kiltmaking and our advanced courses are the best step for qualified kiltmakers to take to expand their knowledge.

Most of our graduates go on to create kilts for their own clients, for Highlandwear retailers all over Scotland and many choose to stay with Nicolson Kiltmakers, create kilts for us and be part of one of the most exciting businesses at the forefront of the industry!

Either way, EKA remains a source of ongoing support and camaraderie for all alumni.