Book review – Pattern Sourcebook: Japanese Style

A post-exam wander around the craft and design sections of the bookshops on Charing Cross Road today turned up a wonderful little volume entitled “Pattern Sourcebook: Japanese Style. 250 Patterns for Projects and Designs.” The book is a collection of Japanese pattern designs in nine different categories, including plants, creatures, geometry and, of course, waves.

Wave pattern

The book comes with a CD with JPEG and PSD versions of each of the patterns and, best of all, purchasing the book permits unrestricted use of any of the patterns for any purpose whatsoever without any further fees or need for acknowledgement or credit. Many of the patterns are set up so that they can be tiled in all directions.

Japanese cherry blossom pattern

There is a sentence or two accompanying each design with a short explanation of its origin or symbolism. The translation from Japanese is a little quirky at times but not enough to be distracting.

Japanese geometric pattern

The patterns are purely patterns and no instructions are given on how to use them but I’m already in danger of being overwhelmed by ideas for ways to incorporate the designs into knitting and quilting patterns.

Wave pattern

To sum up, if you’re interested in Japanese patterns and styles or just looking for a new source of inspiration, I can highly recommend this.


  • Title – Pattern Sourcebook: Japanese Style
  • Author – Shigeki Nakamura
  • Publisher – Rockport Publishers

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