Chris Antich, the co-founder of Huddersfield-based weaver C&J Antich, died last month after a battle with cancer, aged 65.
“Chris had an illustrious career spanning fifty years and his innovation skills made him a legend in the textile industry,” said Nigel Lugg, chairman of the UK Fashion and Textiles Association (UKFT).
Antich started his career as a trainee designer at textile mill Taylor & Lodge at Lockwood, before moving into production at Bower & Roebuck at New Mill, also in Huddersfield. He later returned to Taylor & Lodge, which was under new management, to revitalise the business.
In 1988, he founded C&J Antich and later joined forces with Gordon Hawley of Paragon Textiles to build a 21,000 sq ft factory in Deighton, which would later become the base for the Huddersfield Textile Centre of Excellence, where Antich was a director. In 1996 he went on to build a 52,000 sq ft mill for his weaving business.
This business went on to include suit-making, supplying the corporate sector as well as retailers.
“His passion for training within the textile industry was remarkable,” said Lugg. “He was also extremely interested in textile technology and innovation, working on projects involving 3D weaving and additionally developing woven reinforced fibres for use in car components with Jaguar Land Rover.
“The textile industry has lost a staunch supporter, an instrumental innovator and a loyal friend to many of us. He will be greatly missed but his legacy will live on in the business he leaves behind.”