Most of us have a vague idea about how tattoos are achieved, even if we have never had one. Even in its most basic form, tattooing is a fascinating art with a history that dates further back than the Neolithic era. It has never disappeared as a way people chose to decorate themselves, express individuality, or as a rite of passage in the last ten thousand years.

Here are some lesser-known tattoo techniques you may never have heard about before.

White Ink Tattoos
These tattoos hide in plain sight as they are difficult to spot on some skin tones. Some people secretly delight in knowing they have a symbol that no one else can see. If this what you are looking for, then white ink tattoos might be perfect for you. They require special care to maintain the original whiteness, and they fade quickly. The best feature of a white ink tattoo is that they glow under UV lighting, and if that fun fact doesn’t have you rushing off to the parlor to get one, then carry on reading for more tattoos that will.

Engrave Ink or Commemorative Tattoos
Engrave Ink is used to create a commemorative tattoo to honor a loved one’s passing. It will be as unique as the person you want to remember because Engrave Tattoo Ink is produced from the ashes of the deceased. It is the ultimate celebration of a special life and beloved person. It is entirely safe to use and can be something you choose to tell people about or keep a secret. A heart-warming fact: the tattoo ink can also be made in honor of your pet.

Skin Stitching
If you have a grandmother who’s into embroidery, you will already have a good idea of how this tattoo technique works. A needle and thread are soaked in ink, and then poked in and out of the skin surface as though you are hemming a skirt. This method of tattooing has been used in North America for millennia, but because it disappeared from the mainstream for a couple of thousand years, you might struggle to find a near-by practitioner. Your best bet is to check out any neighboring reservations to see if they offer the service.

Urban legend has it that Captain Cook brought back this method of tattoo application from his voyages around the Pacific Ocean. It’s not true as tattoos had been a standard practice amongst sailors for a good couple of hundred years before that. It probably stems from the fact that the word ‘tatau’ is of Polynesian origin. It is also the birthplace of the handtap technique. 

A little hammer bangs a tool made from wood or bamboo across the skin. This form of tattooing works best with tribal-styles. When people across the Pacific Ocean islands get one of these tattoos, they have to fast and chant while the procedure takes place, sometimes for up to three days.

If these tattoo techniques have inspired you to get one, head on down to your nearest parlor today.