The description of the Robe of Useful Items (BR 195) states that the wearer can detach a patch causing it to become the object or creature it represents.

Does the wearer know which patch contains what object or creature?


They know... unless they can't see

The Robe of Useful Items states (my emphasis):

While wearing the robe, you can use an action to detach one of the patches, causing it to become the object or creature it represents.

This implies that there is a visual representation of the item on the patch - making it clear what the item is to anyone that can see it.

This is also supported by the picture in the DMG:

DMG art for Robe of Useful Items

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    \$\begingroup\$ To me, though "represents" might not be (completely) visual. What if the party comes across a robe made by a blind wizard? Since that wizard isn't going to be able to see his patches, they're likely to be distinguishable by feel - perhaps the "riding horse" is just a circle made out of horse-hair. \$\endgroup\$ – Clockwork-Muse May 14 '19 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Clockwork-Muse has a good point. 'Represents' does not limit it to sight, it could be texture, shape, smell, or some other way to distinguish them. I do agree that the intent is for the wearer to know which they are using though. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 15 '19 at 0:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Clockwork-Muse Such as herbalists using different cord types to tie bags shut. And/Or different beads on them. And/Or mixing different strong smelling but harmless herbs with medicines. All so that they can cross check what they are doing with more than one sense. \$\endgroup\$ – Roger Willcocks May 15 '19 at 4:02

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