How is it done?

Permanent tattoos are applied by injecting the color pigments mention above into the skin using a solid, round-tip needle attached to a motorized instrument that holds up to 14 needles attached to the pigments. The pigments are injected into the middle layer of the skin at a rate of 15 to 3,000 times per minute.

Most tattoo artists use an electrically powered, vertical, vibrating instrument to inject the tattoo pigment. The instrument injects pigment at 50 to 30,000 times per minute into the second layer of skin, at a depth of 1/64 to 1/16 of an inch. A single needle outlines the tattoo and the design is then filled in with five to seven needles in a needle bar.

In other cases, tattoo artists apply the tattoo by hand dipping a needle into pigment, without the use of an electric instrument. Depending upon the complexity of design, the process takes anywhere from fifteen minutes to several hours or sometimes months to complete.


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