Two kiltmakers, one passion
Auld Alliance Kiltmakers is composed by two passionate kiltmakers: Mathilde and Jonathan.
Partners in life and craft, we work as a team to offer each of our client a memorable experience and a bespoke kilt to proudly wear and treasure for life.
After training at Edinburgh Kiltmakers Academy, we have kept pursuing our learning journey with several tutors in Scotland. For us, this is the beauty of kiltmaking: there is always something to learn and experiment.
We are also keen to share our passion in various medias like TV documentary and newspapers.
There is something quite magical in creating a complex garment from one 8-yards length of cloth.
From the kiltmaker’s point of view, this craft encapsulates everything I love: traditional techniques, precision, careful engineering relying on a combination of mathematical formulas and logic… but also loads of creativity and the need to design something exactly right.
As for my experience as a kilt wearer… We have all probably experienced how each outfit makes us feel different or changes the perception of ourselves. I believe that kilts have the ability to empower people.
As a kiltmaker, I want my customers to be part of the design process of their kilt – down to the last detail, and to feel the joy and pride of having a high-quality garment made just for them, with their own style, colours, materials and finishing touches.
A bespoke kilt is a really special garment. Its evolution over the centuries and what it represents for its wearer, even today, fascinates me. As traditional or eccentric as one wants, it’s a very personal garment which the wearer has to make “his” or “hers”. And there is the swing of the kilt… so iconic, hypnotic!
I have been charmed by kilts, when I moved to Scotland. I decided to take a kiltmaking course, to understand the complexity and secrets of this art, and I was hooked! The craft of making traditional, fully hand stitched kilts is a long process. A meditative and introspective journey that I love taking. I like to think that in every kilt that we make, we put a bit of our soul, as we can spend as much as thirty ours on a single kilt, carefully stitching every detail.
Traditional kiltmaking has been recognised as an Endangered craft by the Heritage Crafts Association in 2021. I feel privileged and proud to be part of the artisans that commit themselves to perpetuate and keep alive this traditional craft , while explore new ways to make it evolve.
My goal is promote the kilt as an inclusive garment, that anyone can wear with pride and joy!
In December 2021, Le Bien Public, regional newspaper of Côte d’Or in France, published a 2 pages article about us. “This couple from Côte d’Or protects the art of handsewn kilts in Edinburgh, Scotland” (“Ces Côte-d’Oriens sauvegardent l’art du kilt cousu main à Édimbourg, en Écosse“).
Article written by Eve Farah, with photographe by Julien Borghino, Juliette Lichman and Aurélie Bellacicco.
The 6th of August 2021, we were interviewed for Ouest France, to talk about keeping kiltmaking alive.
“Two French expats in Scotland perpetuate traditional kiltmaking with parssion”. (“En Écosse, des français expatriés perpétuent avec passion la tradition du kilt cousu main“).
Article and photographs by Julien Marsault.