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Basic Tattoo Materials and Equipment

  • Flash 

The tattoo design or commonly called as “flash” is simply a sketch or a piece of line art that is used to make a tattoo. It can be black, white, or any colour. They are mounted on the walls or displayed in books in the tattoo parlour. 

  • Stencil 

A stencil is just a copy of flash however it is crafted on a special copying paper. The stencil permits the inked outline of the design of the tattoo to be transferred to the client’s skin in order for it to be marked out by the artist. 

  • Ink 

Special inks that are used in order to produce great tattoos are sold by tattoo supply shops. They are usually available in a different kinds of colours and are typically packaged in 4 oz plastic squeeze bottles so they are easily handed out. These inks are liquid dispersions of pigments. They are permitted by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. The ink is composed of dyes that come from metal components. Due to this reason, allergic reaction to the type of ink used is more likely. 

  • Tattoo Machine 

The tattoo machine is composed of a hand held needle gun attached to a power unit that makes it possible for the pressure to move the needles. The needles can come in different sizes and shapes and are packed jointly on a needle bar in various types of patterns depending on the needs of the artwork. The unit is connected to a power supply that is started by depressing a foot pedal on the floor bedside of the work station. When the pedal is depressed the tattoo needle bar moves up and down quickly. Imagine that of a sewing machine. It makes a way into the skin to inject the dye 3000 times per minute. 

  • Miscellaneous Supplies 

For the whole tattoo procedure the artist may use supplementary supplies like skin disinfectants, petroleum jelly, bandages, razors, and biocidal cleaning supplies. 

  • Tattoo Removal 

Sometimes people with tattoos come to a point in their lives where they decide to have their tattoo removed. Tattoo removal is now possible, thanks to advance technology, however the process is not easy, costly, and sometimes not fully successful. Not so long before, a wire brush was used to rub the skin and wipe out the first and second layers where the ink is present. In order to leach out the ink, salt solutions and acid were used to burn the skin away. 

All of these methods are costly, painful, and not very effective. Even though the tattoo can be removed, the affected area may lose its capability to produce normal skin pigment and some scarring will be unavoidable. Today, lasers have been developed to remove tattoos, as it can tear down most of the ink pigment with very little scarring. 

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  • Matthew Nelson