Chris Wilkinson awarded MBE

This year, Nonwovens Network Chairman, Christine Wilkinson has been awarded Membership of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), in HM the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for Services to the Textile Industry.

Chris was born in Thurstonland, attended Holme Valley Grammar School, and has lived in Shepley for the past 30 years.

She has had long career in textiles. After studying the subject for three years, she joined ICI Fibres in Harrogate working in their Man Made Fibres Division when their product portfolio included Polyester, Nylon and Polypropylene.

She then took up an appointment as a Lecturer in Textile Technology at Huddersfield Polytechnic where she rose through the ranks to Principal Lecturer and Acting Head of Department of Textile Industries.

Chris then returned to Industry, as Director of Ledacare, the medical division of Cosmopolitan Textiles, and then as Head of Education and Training with the British Textile Technology Group. She is now involved with the University of Leeds, heading up their short course training programmes in Textile Science and Technology.

Chris holds a Master of Philosophy Degree, is a Chartered Textile Technologist, and an Associate and Service Medal holder of the International Textile Institute. She has been Chairman of the Huddersfield Section and Secretary of the Yorkshire Section of the Textile Institute, and also held the position of Chairman of the TI Quality Group. She currently holds positions on their Medals & Awards and Professional and Educational Affairs Committees.

Chris is also involved with the Textile Institutes Short Course Training programmes.

One of Chris’ greatest achievements has been her work with the Nonwovens Network UK. She is a founder member, long term secretary, and currently Chairman. The Nonwovens Network is an association set up 20 years ago at the request of the Nonwovens Industry, specifically for the good of the UK Nonwovens Industry. To this end the network holds an annual seminar, an annual dinner, assists the Industry in research and development, and is currently engaged in the provision of Apprenticeship training. This is an Industry that has doubled its output in the past 18 years, and is the fastest growing sector of the UK Textile Industry.

In 2012, Chris was appointed the first woman President of the Huddersfield Textile Society. Founded 120 years ago , with a view to providing ‘a common meeting ground for our future leaders’. To this end its aims of, ‘ encouraging young people and promoting good fellowship among its members, to be achieved by arranging meetings and excursions for the reading and discussion of papers on textile and allied subjects’, still prevail today. From its inception, the HTS has awarded prizes to students in the field of Textile Technology, Design and Fashion from the Textile Training Centre which is responsible for apprenticeship training, and the University of Huddersfield.