Sleeve tattoos are a collaboration between a tattoo artist and customer to demonstrate a personal and unified artistic theme. Other times, a sleeve is created when a person has many smaller tattoos on their arm and later has them connected with background tattooing to form a sleeve. Planned sleeves generally require many long hours of tattooing and can take weeks, months or years to complete.
I am 6'3 and 205 with larger arms. These fit me OK. They run about 2/3 of the way up my arm and the top can be hidden by a shirt sleeve. They are 92% nylon and 8% spandex. They have a bit of ruuberband around the upper arm piece to hold it in place. The material feels like a women's nylon sock and I would guess holds up well to being stretched but not to snags or sharp objects.
There's certainly evidence that women had tattoos on their bodies and limbs from figurines c. 4000-3500 B.C. to occasional female figures represented in tomb scenes c. 1200 B.C. and in figurine form c. 1300 B.C., all with tattoos on their thighs. Also small bronze implements identified as tattooing tools were discovered at the town site of Gurob in northern Egypt and dated to c. 1450 B.C. And then, of course, there are the mummies with tattoos, from the three women already mentioned and dated to c. 2000 B.C. to several later examples of female mummies with these forms of permanent marks found in Greco-Roman burials at Akhmim.
The term "sleeve" is a reference to the tattoo's size similarity in coverage to a long shirt sleeve on an article of clothing. In this manner, the term is also used as a verb; for example, "getting sleeved" means to have one's entire arm tattooed. The term is also sometimes used in reference to a large leg tattoo that covers a person's leg in a similar manner[citation needed].
Jump up ^ The Times (London), 3 April 1879, p. 9: "Crime has a ragged regiment in its pay so far as the outward ... qualities are concerned ... they tattoo themselves indelibly ... asserting the man's identity with the aid of needles and gunpowder. This may be the explanation of the Mermaids, the Cupid's arrows, the name of MARY, the tragic inscription to the memory of parents, the unintended pathos of the appeal to liberty."
Some organizations have proposed rules banning sleeves among their members; the United States Marine Corps prohibited Marines from getting arm- or leg-sleeve tattoos after April 1, 2007. Those with sleeves already are protected under a grandfather clause.[2] Nevertheless, tattoo sleeves have become so popular that several clothing companies have produced apparel that simulates the look of tattoo sleeves using transparent mesh fabric printed with tattoo designs.

The most common method of tattooing in modern times is the electric tattoo machine, which inserts ink into the skin via a single needle or a group of needles that are soldered onto a bar, which is attached to an oscillating unit. The unit rapidly and repeatedly drives the needles in and out of the skin, usually 80 to 150 times a second. The needles are single-use needles that come packaged individually.


Getting a sleeve tattoo is a huge commitment that requires more planning and time than a typical piece of body art. You cannot impulsively choose an image from a binder or the Internet and stick it on your arm. If you want a decent-looking design that doesn't suck and makes you rethink your life choices, then you need to do ample research about the process, think about a theme and style, shop around for reputable artists, and then sit down with the artist of your choice to design the tattoo.
And although it has long been assumed that such tattoos were the mark of prostitutes or were meant to protect the women against sexually transmitted diseases, I personally believe that the tattooing of ancient Egyptian women had a therapeutic role and functioned as a permanent form of amulet during the very difficult time of pregnancy and birth. This is supported by the pattern of distribution, largely around the abdomen, on top of the thighs and the breasts, and would also explain the specific types of designs, in particular the net-like distribution of dots applied over the abdomen. During pregnancy, this specific pattern would expand in a protective fashion in the same way bead nets were placed over wrapped mummies to protect them and "keep everything in." The placing of small figures of the household deity Bes at the tops of their thighs would again suggest the use of tattoos as a means of safeguarding the actual birth, since Bes was the protector of women in labor, and his position at the tops of the thighs a suitable location. This would ultimately explain tattoos as a purely female custom.

Since the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, the mermaid form has been a popular style for both costumes and tattoos alike. Above you can see a cool example of an under the sea style theme on the forearm. Silhouetted styles are generally safe choices as the thicker line work makes them last longer and less intricate line work that can potentially be messed up or fade over time.
The first thing you will notice about the above designs is that the color looks amazing and really pops off the skin. This can mean a few things. Firstly that the tattoos are relatively recent or otherwise that the tattooist used good quality ink and the person has taken good measures for after care on their tattoos which is very important, especially given that you can spend upwards of $1000 on a tattoo nowadays.
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Perhaps the main difference between ancient and modern tattoos is that in the contemporary West, a given design’s message is often harder to decipher than those of tattoos rooted in specific cultural traditions. It was easy for fellow Maoris to read meaning in the markings on each other’s faces. But why, oh why, would you plaster your scalp with an picture of a continental breakfast, or ink a puking yellow mouse on your back, as certain bold souls showcased here did? (That’s not to suggest that tattoos have lost their tribal significance. Just look to the tattoos of prison gangs, skinheads, biker clubs, punk rockers, and other subcultures.)
Tattoos are said to be addicting. Despite the pain, those who get their first bit of body art are often hungry for more. And as tattoos become an increasingly accepted part of society, these ink enthusiasts are filling half or even the whole of their arms with sprawling designs. Called half sleeve and full sleeve tattoos, respectively, these impressive pieces are the result of many hours of hard work for a tattooist and a lesson in patience and perseverance for a client.
Before you book your tattoo removal consultation remember that the good thing about any fad is that trends are on a constant rotation, and an intricate, well-done tattoo remains relevant and beautiful despite the change in fashion. Unless you just have a tattoo that says "NoBama" or depicts Left Shark, you shouldn't have a hard time defending your tat's significance in the future.
Tattoos are beautiful representations and expressions of how we feel and it’s a great way to tell others through the imagery of art. That being said, like all art, tattoos are expensive. They take time and skill and if you want it to look good, it’ll definitely cost you. A single image is going to be a lot cheaper than a whole sleeve of art so as you contemplate whether or not you’d like to invest in a whole sleeve, make sure you allot space in your budget to make it happen. Typically you go into your shop several times in order to complete the sleeve so you may be able to work something out with your artist and do a payment plan if you plan in advance. Who knows, maybe they’ll give you a discount since you’re committing to a whole sleeve. It never hurts to ask. Once you’ve researched how much you’ll have to invest, enjoy the process and get ready to be amazed by the finished results.
That’s why it’s vital to choose a tattoo design and color scheme that are both meaningful and aesthetically pleasing to you. If you’re uncertain what sort of design you’d like, this idea guide and others can provide a sampling of images you might find attractive. Other sources of inspiration are art galleries, art and mythology books, anthropological texts featuring body arts and crafts from other cultures, and even gardening books. Inspiration is everywhere.
A lot of us have imagined ourselves with those same kinds of full-arm sleeves. For some, it could work well with our no-fucks-to-give persona. For others, it's an aesthetic decision, or an emotional one. If you’re serious about it though, then it’s worth knowing what planning is involved—from inception, to execution, to maintenance. So we spoke with Nicolas Gualteros, tattoo artist at Senaspace in NYC, to plot it all out.
Bleeding is normal and will continue for the first two nights after a fresh tattoo. Some redness and swelling is also normal in the first week. You should become concerned when there is pus, a foul odor, and extreme swelling and inflammation that continues for more than a week. If you feel discomfort and suspect an infection, call your doctor or tattoo parlor immediately.

A well-known example is the Nazi practice of forcibly tattooing Nazi concentration camp inmates with identification numbers during The Holocaust as part of the Nazis' identification system, beginning in fall 1941.[16] The Nazis' SS introduced the practice at Auschwitz concentration camp in order to identify the bodies of registered prisoners in the concentration camps. During registration, the Nazis would pierce the outlines of the serial-number digits onto the prisoners' arms. Of the Nazi concentration camps, only Auschwitz put tattoos on inmates.[17] The tattoo was the prisoner's camp number, sometimes with a special symbol added: some Jews had a triangle, and Romani had the letter "Z" (from German Zigeuner for "Gypsy"). In May 1944, the Jewish men received the letters "A" or "B" to indicate particular series of numbers.

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