Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses


Knitting and Sewing Patterns - IPO Copyright Factsheet

Published 06.02.15 at 11:04

If you use knitting and sewing patterns in your fashion designs or you yourself develop new and original patterns, you may wonder how copyright applies to the reproduction of classic patterns and how it protects new motifs you create yourself. From sharing and selling items that incorporate these patterns to using instructional guides to replicate existing patterns, it pays to know what is permissable, what is protected by copyright and whether or not you can consider your creation an orginal piece. 

The Intellectual Property Office have released this factsheet which touches on points that often arise in copyright enquries pertaining to implementing knitting motifs and stiching styles. It provides a broad overview of the law of copyright, the position of 'made items' within the law, instances where an implied licence may exist and generally how to approach situations where you may not know whether a pattern is protected by copyright or by whom the original pattern was made. The factsheet is available to view on the IPO website here.

Photography: some rights reserved by Annie Lance


Please note that this article discusses the legal position in the UK at the time of publication. It provides general information only but is not to be regarded as legal advice. You must take advice from a specialist lawyer in relation to your specific circumstances. Further, you should seek additional legal advice when dealing with parties based in other parts of the world or works originating from other parts of the world as the legal position may vary.


  1. Be the first to comment on this story.


You must be logged in to post comments. Please sign in below or register here.


Knowledge Search
    • Last Month
    • Past 30 days
    • No Limit
    • Today
    • Last Week
    • Any Sector
    • Advertising & Marketing
    • Architecture
    • Design
    • Designer Maker
    • Digital/New Media
    • Fashion
    • Film & Video
    • Museums & Galleries
    • Music
    • Performing Arts
    • Photography
    • TV & Radio
    • Visual Arts
    • Writing & Publishing

Related content

  • Who owns the copyrigh...

    To avoid disputes over copyright ownership phot... view story

  • I work in theatre: Wh...

    Copyright is an intellectual property right tha... view article