I am able to import and apply patterns to objects, but I don't know how to adjust the colour of the patterns.
How does one tint a pattern in Inkscape?
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You can create your own colorful pattern, but you can also simply change the color of the built-in patterns for your file.
For example, starting from a simple shape filled with a built-in pattern:
You can change default color (black in the example) using
Extensions -> Color -> Replace color command
In the pop-up windows you can replace the original color with your preferred one:
The work is done (this function change the stroke color too, you can arrange it later if needed):
As you notice, this functions suffers from the absence of a color picker, but nowadays there is plenty of HTML color pickers for every operating system (and on-line too), so this is really no a problem.
If you want to change the color of a built-in
bitmap pattern, you can use a filter.
For example, a starting shape filled:
You can add a filter using
Filter -> Color -> Colorize:
The fill is colorized, now, and you can tweak with the Filter Editor:
For example, you can change the default color, etc...