Tattoo Process

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Tattoo process

Tattoo machines are set so that the needle(s) enter(s) the skin and deposit the ink (pigment) to a depth of approximately two millimeters, into the dermis. The pigment is also deposited in the layer of skin over the dermis, the epidermis. The epidermis is constantly growing so that the ink in this layer always grows out (some ink leeches out in the first few days after the tattoo is done).

Tattoo machines reciprocate at approximately  3,000 times a minute and generally have three needles (more for shading or colouring larger areas).  If an artist spends twelve minutes on a tattoo that should take half an hour. You will get a tattoo with 36,000 dots of ink in it, whereas the same tattoo should have at least 270,000 dots of ink,a difference of
two hundred & thirty four thousand (234,000). So it is important that the artist not go too fast. Think of it as pixels in a digital photo'. If a tattoo is done too quickly less ink gets into the skin and the tattoo will look good at first but will start to fade noticeably after only a year or two. Itís like putting you printer on Fast Draft as opposed to Best. One comes out fast but faded and the other done slowly is bright and vibrant. The only difference is that a tattoo will always look bright at first because there is ink  in the top dead layer of skin (The epidermis). this layer flakes off as new skin grows and any ink in this layer always disappears.                                                                                      
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New tattoos nearly always look like there is enough ink in them because there is ink in both the dermis and the epidermis, but the ink in the epidermis will grow out with the skin and the tattoo will fade noticeably in the first year or two compared to a tattoo done by an artist who takes the time to get it right.

Tattoo Machine With Tube and Needle

If you look carefully you can see  the  the fully extended  tattoo needle  out of the end of the tube. When the needle and machine are set it is impossible for the needle to go any deeper than 2mm, which is slightly less than the depth of a hair follicle.
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