Nowadays tattoos have become an expresser of personal aesthetics. It often carries some profound meaning related to certain beliefs as well. But this tradition is anything but new and has been around for thousands of years. Interest in tattoos is not restricted within the radius of the “young” generation and favored by people of all ages depending on their personal sense of style, beauty and beliefs. Hence, more and more people are getting into the tattooing business. But before getting into it, we must have clear idea about the various products or items included in a tattoo supplies’ set. And after that, we must know what to look for before actually purchasing them.
Vintage To Modern Tattoo Supplies
Modern tattoo kits include everything from tattoo machines and needles to types of ink. So it is better to have a clear idea about all the possible parts included in the supplies.
Tattoo Machines: Frankly speaking, it is not possible to enumerate the types of tattoo machines based on functionality however, mechanically there are 3 basic types of machines and these are rotary, coil and pneumatic. These are described briefly below:
· Rotary is the basic design for these machines and was first introduced by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891. Since then, it has gone through some changes and upgrades to become contemporary. The needle is driven by an electric motor and is well-known for being least harsh to the skin. The contemporary design is called Rotary Hybrid and includes a ramp to make the operation much smoother and efficient.
· The Coil machine is more of a modern invention and operates by means of electromagnetic circuits. These circuits move the needle up and down. They are powered by 1, 2 or 3 coils and their power depends on the wraps of the coils. They are made of different materials depending on design and tend to be heavier than other machines. However, they are the least expensive.
· Invented by Carson Hill in 2000, Pneumatic is the most modern variation for tattoo machines. These machines are powered by an air compressor which means they do not include the weight of an electric or electromagnetic motor. This also means they can be sterilized without having to dismantle the machine first. Although pneumatics are the most convenient to operate, they are also quite expensive.
Inks: Tattoo inks are made of various heavy metal contents and these contents vary depending on the inks’ color. To move the metal from the machine to the skin, a carrier is needed and for that purpose, either water of alcohol is used. Some artists do their own mixing but most prefer buying the pre-mixed inks since inexperienced handling could lead to negative reactions like infections.
Needles & Tubes: The ink is pushed through the needle and into the skin while the tubes hold the needle in place. Their combined versatility determines the complexity that can be tackled during tattooing. Both of them are disposable but if they are to be used multiple times, they need to be cleaned properly with the appropriate sterilizers.
Power Supplies: The types of power supplies depend on the type of tattoos that need to be done and they are very important if the machine is to operate properly. The power that gets into the machine can be controlled manually with a foot pedal.
Medical Supplies: Sanitizing the tattoo machine is not always enough. Autoclaves, machine covers, skin cleaners, disposable gloves, disinfecting cleaners and ointments are all included in the tattooing medical supplies to ensure a healthy environment for both the artist and their clients.
What to Remember Before Buying Tattoo Supplies
Now that we know about the supplies, let us take a look at a few important tips that would help us in buying them.
Do NOT compromise machine quality: This is the costliest and most important part of the endeavor and needs to be handled with caution. Machine uses needle and ink to make the tattoos. So, either buy one that does both outlining and shading or different machines for the different purposes. Maintain balance between material durability and usability. Do not buy one just because it is cheap.
Purchase the right and necessary inks: Buy tattoo inks only from top rated sellers and to make a client’s options more wide-spread, purchase as much color as possible. Whenever you buy them, the inks must always be brand new and never contain even trace amount of lead or nickel otherwise they would irritate and infect the skin. New artists should go for pre-mixed professional grade inks.
Purchase disposable needles and tubes: Although you could use the same needle and tube over and over again by sterilizing them in an autoclave machine, they are also expensive and not always very friendly for a new artist’s budget. Besides, changing needles and tubes is not difficult at all and they do not need to be sterilized before using for the first time. This is a good way to save money at the beginning. However, should you choose to go with this option then buying a hazardous waste container is also important. Since the needles have been in contact with blood, if not handled properly, they could spread infectious diseases.
Start with a starter kit: Frankly, starting from scratch can be quite overwhelming for a new endeavourer. A starter kit is more convenient in this case. One of these kits contains all the necessary parts needs to start the tattooing business including machine, needles, tubes, gloves, skin markers, power supply and cleaning brushes. Some kits also include “how to” DVDs that come very handy for new artists. Remember, all the items mentioned until now can be bought separately anytime.
Power supply: Artists who do not prefer kits should always consider power supply before buying their machine. The machine has to be compatible with the supply otherwise it will not run properly, if it runs at all. To control the power supplied into the machine, buy a manual foot pedal. Digital pedals offer better control than analogue ones.
Remember, if you are new to this endeavor then never let go of any “how to” guide because they will provide with very helpful tips related to the handling of the whole system, which does not only include the tattooing process itself but also how to make the whole process more healthy and sustainable.