The answer is yes, illustrator does use pattern fills. Here you go!
I'm looking for a little advice. I took the plunge and bought one of the adobe suites for my wife (she's an artist) and I was curious about Illustrator. Is there a way to get and use pattern fills (like in GIMP) in Illustrator, or would I have to use Photohop instead?
Wow, thanks Ravells!