The Commercial Pattern Archive at the University of Rhode Island

The Commercial Pattern Archive, part of the Distinctive Collections at the University of Rhode Island, encompasses an extensive collection of commercial clothing paper patterns. The archive contains more than 60,000 patterns from the mid-19th century to the present and are described and available via a free database that includes images of clothing and pattern schematics.

The primary access point is the pattern number, but users can also submit an advanced search by year, garment, occasion, needlework, gender, age, keyword, pattern company or collection. There are about 50,000 images in the database, some of them full size, and schematics can be printed for personal and academic use.

Along with the patterns collection, the collection also includes books, pamphlets, journals, and ephemera on the subjects related to tailoring, textiles, fashions and the commercial pattern industry. All print material in Distinctive Collections is catalogued in the URI Library Catalog.

The archive is also available for in-person visits by appointment.