Lace Tattoos

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

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Lace tattoos imitate delicate and ornamental fabric designs, as if the skin were composed of thin webs of cotton, linen or silk.

Lace fabric patterns can be made by machine or hand with varying degrees of weight and complexity. They can be created through open-work seaming, looping thread or yarn together, or with elaborate cutwork.

Lace, as we know it today, first appeared in Europe in the late 15th century. It was popularized by royalty and the wealthy elite classes in Italy, France and the UK, as a way to embellish garments and costumes. The Industrial Revolutions of the UK and America led to modern machines that allowed for faster and cheaper production. This paved the way for lacework to move through the world in fashion trends for all socioeconomic classes, with variations in quality and intricacy.

In tattooing, there is often confusion between Mehndi and Lace tattoos. Aside from the stylistic origins being very different (Southeast Asian vs. Western European, respectively) there are also key technical differences. Mehndi tattoos can have gaps in the linework with unbound and free-floating elements. Lace tattoos must preserve consistency in the patterns and connectivity in the linework to achieve the look of real-world fabric.

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