What is a Pattern Mill?
I often see this question on social media. Pattern mills or just "mills" are shops that sell digital PDF patterns that were created using stolen art or concepts. The owners of these shops often do not cross stitch themselves, which leads to a number of issues when stitching their patterns. Not every single shop that checks off one or two of these boxes is a mill, but once you know what to look for, pattern mills become very easy to spot.
No stitched listing images. All images are digital renders,
Listing Images look identical with the same hoop, frame and/or background,
A LOT of listings. Hundreds or even thousands.
Popular phrases/ ideas. They quickly copy any ideas that are trending or that go viral.
Intellectual property (IP) like Disney, Marvel or art stolen from independent artists.
Suspiciously low prices. Artists who create their work from scratch do not sell it for $1.50
Giant Pattern Packs. Selling 1000 patterns for $10 is just sketchy.
No stitched listing images. Everything is a digital render.
(And in this case, they are also selling Disney IP)
Listings look identical.
They are not unique for each pattern.
A lot of listings.
Like, so many freaking listings.
Nothing but popular phrases and ideas.
I created the first "please don't summon demons in the bathroom" cross stitch pattern. Now, you can find dozens of shops selling it. They quickly copy any ideas that are trending or that go viral. The shop may be full of popular phrases, popular clip art or themes. Think animal silhouettes with the forest/plaid/floral inside them, unicorns with eyelashes or Disney princess silhouettes.
The final boss of pattern mills. A triple whammy.
I created this for educational purposes only. Who you choose to support and what patterns you wish to buy are up to you.