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Patterns: Inside the Design Library by Peter Koepke, published by Phaidon

Eliza Williams writes: ‘One of fashion’s best-kept secrets is revealed to a wider audience this month, via a new book from Phaidon.

‘The Design Library is a real treasure trove. Its US collection is vast, held across a 12,000 square foot loft in a converted fabric mill in New York’s Hudson Valley, where over 7 million examples of textiles, wallpapers, pattern books and embroideries are stored. In London, its building is more modest, situated just off Oxford Street, but its collection is still eye-popping, including samples of designs stretching back to the 18th century and from all over the world.’

It may be one of the library world’s best-kept secrets, for the library is not open to the public, but is used extensively by fashion designers, with most of its patterns for sale or to rent. The designs are classified in 1,200 ways, says Peter Koepke. The library also offers an online subscription service for designers and brands to access the vast pattern library.