Embroidery Tattoos

Gallery of embroidery tattoos that can be filtered by subject, body part and size.

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Embroidery tattoos simulate textile art on skin. The defining characteristic is the artist’s intention to transform the skin into faux fabric.

Embroidery is a contemporary tattoo style that artificially mimics the act of sewing; it is unrelated to ancient and tribal practices of skin-stitching. While those techniques did use needles and threads to implant ink in skin, there are major procedural and cultural differences that separate them from faux textile tattoos. (Skin-stitching is a rare technique; any instances, if submitted to TF, will be represented in the Tribal categories.)

Faux skin stitches can resemble:

Hand-stitched work with organic and occasionally flawed stitches. These pieces do not hide the fact that they’re executed by hand.

Machine-work patterns with meticulous and flawless stitching, as if created by a machine. These tattoos can currently only be achieved with the human hand, so they require a highly trained tattooer to disguise the man-made execution.

Loose threads and/or sewing needles that may appear to be actively puncturing the skin. These technically qualify as embroidery because of the nature of interacting with the skin as if it were faux fabric.

Faux fabric tattoos may include, but are not limited to:

Lace work that appears to consist of light-weight and delicate materials, often with ornate and complex patterns.

Knit, crochet and needlepoint work that appears to be woven with heavier materials, such as yarn or wool.

Patchwork designs with blocky and imperfect boundaries, as if the skin were an excerpt of a quilt. These tattoos mix a number of textures and patterns together.

Terminology disambiguation:

“Whitework” and “Blackwork,” in textile art, refer to the use of white thread or black thread, respectively. On TF, these terms are used in reference to white ink and black ink tattoos, and do not imply overlap with the embroidery style.

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