Clabburn, Pamela (1914-2010)

Pamela Clabburn, 1914-2010. Pamela Clabburn, 1914-2010.

Pamela Clabburn was an English museum curator and writer about textiles, including decorative needlework. She was particularly interested in Norwich shawls, because of family connections with the production of this form of clothing accessory.

Miss Clabburn was about to go to the Royal School of Needlework when the Second World War broke out in 1939. During the war she served as a nurse in England and on the continent. After the war, she set up as a lingerie and dressmaker in Norwich and later became a textile conservator specialising in ecclesiastical textiles. In 1964, she joined the staff of the Strangers’ Hall Museum, Norwich, in order to look after and expand their textile collection. Five years later, she was appointed assistant keeper of social history at the same museum.

Miss Clabburn retired from this position in 1974. She then started the Textile and Conservation Workroom at Blickling Hall, Norwich, for the National Trust. Miss Clabburn founded the Costume and Textile Association (C&TA) in 1989, which was established to find suitable facilities to house and display the costumes and textile collection of the Norfolk Museums. In 1999 she was made an MBE (the Order of the British Empire) for her contributions to textile conservation in museums and galleries.

Miss Clabburn was the author of various publications on the theme of textiles and needlework, including:

  • The Needleworker's Dictionary (1976). London: Macmillan.
  • Samplers (1977). Princes Risborough: Shire Books.
  • Beadwork (1980). Princes Risborough: Shire Books.
  • Masterpieces of Embroidery (1981). London: Phaidon Press
  • Patchwork (1983). Princes Risborough: Shire Books.
  • The Norwich Shawl (1995). London: HMSO.
  • Shawls (2002). Princes Risborough: Shire Books.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 18th June 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 01 May 2017 17:39