Most people believe in the myth that the tattoo machines are basically rotating needles up and down with hollow ends just like in sewing machines. The tattoo technique is totally different. The tattoo techniques used today differ from place to place. In some of the tribal cultures, the tattooing technique was known to be very painful and harsh. The tattoo was created by cutting design into the skin and then rubbing ink, ashes or some other agents into the wound. Some cultures still continue this practice.
In Japan, the tattoo technique is primarily hand based. The traditional Japanese tattoos are still hand pushed. The pigment is inserted under the skin using a non-electrical, hand made and hand held device with needles either made of bamboo or steel. But in recent times the tattoo technique has become common in almost every part of the world. They follow the western tattooing technique, i.e. the use of electric tattoo machine. This tattooing technique was first patented in England during the late 1800s.
However, even today most people are unaware about tattoo techniques and about the fact that the tattoo machine is basically an electromagnet powered by a variable power supply. The needle is actually dipped into a small cap that has been filled with the pigment or ink from a squeeze bottle. There are different needles for different forms of art. One needle is used for doing the outline of the sketch and for the line work on the tattoo. There are many other bunched needles for giving shades to a tattoo. These needles can be attached to a specified tattooing device. The needles are soldered to a bar that is attached to the electromagnet.
When power is supplied to the electromagnetic tattoo machine, the needles coated with the pigment vibrate in an up and down motion at a rate of more than thousand times per minute. When the needle gets inside the skin, the colored pigments are injected into the skin, in between the permanent bottom layer and the surface, which is constantly dying off and being replaced by new skin cells.
The tattoo technique of injecting the pigment at the right distance downward is very important for the quality of the tattoo. The beauty of the tattoo depends upon the tattoo technique. If the needle goes in too deeply, then the pigment will mix with the body fluid and color will spread in the body. And if the needle is not placed to the adequate depth, the tattoo will fade out and come out too early as new skin comes out from the lower layer.
While getting a tattoo done one should always take care of the hygiene and safety of the process along with a proper tattooing technique. Before getting a tattoo it is recommended to do a skin check-up, because your skin may react to the pigment used. Other than this, one should always ask the artist to sterilize the needles right in front of him or her, because using a previously used needle without sterilizing it may cause fatal infections.