Andrea Chappell – Kiltmaker
Iwear a kilt unless I’m cleaning, swimming or running,’ Andrea Chappell of Acme Atelier tells me. And although she’s relatively new to kiltmaking, she’s certainly no stranger to wearing one, writes Morag Bootland.
Attending school in Bedforshire this was somewhat unusual, but when she was able to whip off the velcro-fastened Anderson Ancient kilt that her mum had made for her in a Bucks Fizz
style it went down a storm in the playground. Fast-forward a few years and after studying Design at St Martins and RCA in London, Andrea started to commission Howie Nicholsby of 21st Century Kilts to make kilts for her.
A move to Moray was always going to be lifechanging and what started as a hobby became her livelihood when Andrea launched her business in 2021. Most of her clients are women; many have a kilt made to commemorate a special ocassion and then wear it more than they ever expected.
‘Making kilts is a dying art,’ she tells me. ‘They are incredibly functional, practical garments and I think we’ve forgotten that.’
Sustainability is incredibly important to Andrea and all of her one-off kilts are made from fabric that she has created or sourced from Scottish mills. She always uses vintage, or deadstock fabric meaning that each one is unique. Her beautiful hand-painted designs, prints and details make her kilts truly bespoke. She’s also working on a ‘field-to-fork’ style kilt project to make a Moray Tweed that is entirely produced in Scotland, starting with local fleece.
‘Kilts are incredibly functional, practical garments and I think we’ve forgotten that’