About the Kiltmaker...
Joyce Mackenzie


I was born in Quebec to a French Canadian mother and a Scottish Canadian father. My maternal grandmother trained as a milliner when she was a young woman. A chic and elegant woman, the gorgeous hats and bead embellished suits she made sparked my passion for beautifully made garments. 

Under the guidance of my grandmother, I was introduced to sewing at a young age. No cottons for me! I was given pieces of fine fabric - sheers, satins, velvets and with those made small garments entirely by hand, and embellished with beadwork. It was only later on that I realized the value of having learned to make small,neat stitches in these slippery, fragile fabrics - no easy task for a beginner. Eventually, I worked with cotton and woolens and how much easier it was to make a neat stitch with those! I graduated to larger garments and was designing and making most of my own clothing entirely by hand by the time I was a teenager. I didn't use a sewing machine until I was an adult and then, only used it to make handbags from materials too thick or unusual to stitch by hand such as plastics and mosquito netting. 

My interest in making kilts was sparked during a trip to Scotland in 1999. What can I say about a man in a kilt? Inspiring to say the least! 
I purchased a kilt in Inverness - from a shop specializing in kilts since the 1800's. It was a beautiful, handmade kilt in a heavy weight, Ancient Mackenzie tartan.

After I got home, I took it apart and examined the construction, making notes as I unstitched the thousands of stitches in the garment. Then, I put it back together, took it apart again and put in a new lining, a new waistband, new straps and when it was finished, it looked like a brand new kilt. That was several years ago, and now many kilts later, that beautifully made kilt by an Inverness kiltmaker is still the standard I follow for every kilt I make.

My Dad's ancestors hail from Perthshire, Scotland. They were weavers in Kenmore until the 1830s when they emigrated to Upper Canada. They brought their weaving heritage with them and are recorded in the history of the township they settled in as being accomplished weavers. 

The kilts I make are entirely hand made in the Highland tradition of kiltmaking using the finest 100% wool tartan available and woven in Scotland and Canada.

It is my honour to keep alive the standards of fine workmanship set by my paternal and maternal ancestors and those dedicated weavers I work with allowing me to provide you with a kilt infused with tradition and skill along with my personal dedication to the craft of Kiltmaking!


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Sons and Daughters of Scotland 2007