Needles and Tubes

Needles come in many shapes and sizes, and each does something different. Tattoo needles are really two pieces, a needle head and a needle bar. The needle head is the part that sits down at the end of your tube and punctures the skin, while the needle bar is a needle shaft that has a circle bent into it called a needle loop or eye loop. This is where the needle attaches to the machine. A common misconception of a tattoo needle is that they are hollow like a hypodermic needle from a shot. This is not true. Tattooing needles are solid, like a safety pin only smaller. A needle grouping is the number of needles in the head. So if I said that a needle is a three then it is three small needles soldered together to make one, in a triangle shape. There are many different groupings, each with a purpose. The more needles are attached to the head the bigger the dot is. So a five pattern needle is a bigger dot then a three pattern needle or a single Needle. How a tattoo really works is the needle moves in and out of the tube, like a sewing machine. When it moves in, it gets ink on it, and when it moves out it punctures then skin. When done correctly a tattoo needle only goes two millimeters deep, that's about the thickness of a dime. The skin is elastic so it stretches. The needle with pigment punctures the skin and the skin squeezes the needle removing the pigment leaving it underneath. Think of a butter knife with peanut butter on it. You wipe the knife off with your finger, nothing on the knife, and peanut butter on your hand. Basically every line in a tattoo is really just a row of small dots really close together making a line. In art this is called "Pointillism". So if you want a bigger line you use a bigger needle group.

Perfect Tattoo

Perfect Tattoo

Ever Wanted to Get a Tattoo? Here is a Priceless Guide on How to Choose the Perfect Tattoo! Do you ever find yourself admiring the artistic work of another person’s tattoo? Do you wish you had the nerve to get one of your own but just aren’t sure you know enough about them to take that final step?

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  • myles
    Is tatooing with a hypodermic needle?
    6 years ago
  • ky peltonen
    Is it possible to use a smaller tattoo needle in a bigger tube?
    6 years ago

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