Tattoo Ink

What goes into tattoo pigment?  I would like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about tattoo pigment. Many clients have asked over the years about what goes into tattoo pigment.

The exact components of any manufacturer’s inks are not always provided to the artist, and thus the client. We, as tattoo artists, do know that there are two components; which are the carrier and the pigment.

The carrier’s job is to work as a suspension for the powdered ink pigments it is mixed with. It provides a clean, absorbable liquid vehicle for delivering the ink into the skin. The most common carriers used by ink producers are glycerin, water, isopropyl alcohol, and witch hazel. Manufacturers may even use a blend of two or more different carriers in their specific processes. The exact formula of carrier and pigment blends is generally proprietary, and not usually known to your artist.

The next part is the pigment, which is the color. Pigments come from many different sources such as mineral, industrial organic, vegetable, and some plastic-based pigments. Producers are generally open about which type of pigments they are using for any particular color.

No matter who or where, your tattoo artist will have a specific vendor (or vendors) they trust.


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