Clothing is fundamental to human existence, as unique and defining as art, religion, and science, and humans being the meaning-makers that we are, it is no surprise that clothing is often packed full of cultural significance. Denim is the fabric of labor, while satin and silk are inextricably linked with sensuous luxury. Of all the different textiles, however, there is no fabric with as much meaning and significance attached to it as lace.
Lace is unique in the dichotomy it represents: it is both a symbol of purity and innocence and at the same time a powerful icon of female sexuality. The traditional white wedding dress, laden with lace, has long been a symbol of purity, while at the same time some of the most provocative of lingerie nearly always feature lace.
This dual meaning is why lace is so suitable for tattoos. Whether vestal virgin or decadent libertine; nothing captures femininity quite like lace.
Lace Tattoo Ideas for Women
This is a playful little design that uses the silhouette of a cat and incorporates lace patterns to create a unique and personal tattoo. While this design is fairly simple, there is more to meets the eye in terms of the thought and planning that went into this piece. First, the artist had to choose an outline that could not be mistaken for anything besides a cat, not as easy as it sounds when the interior of the silhouette is filled with abstract patterns. The line work in this tattoo is clean and precise, allowing the fine lattice of lace to shine through, completing this one of a kind piece.
This large, black and gray leg piece is a good example of how lace-inspired designs can be used to create an interesting tattoo. The whip shading in the roses is excellent, adding a texture that helps them stand out from the cross-hatched leaves, while the designs reminiscent of Brussels lace are detailed and well-executed. Besides this though, perhaps the most impressive aspect of this tattoo is the perfectly even square pattern that makes up the background for this piece: consistent, repeating patterns like this are difficult to apply, and even small variations and imperfections are instantly noticeable. The detail in this piece is impressive and is a testament to the skill of the artist.
This black and gray tattoo uses lace patterns and excellent placement on the thigh to invoke images of delicate garter belts. The whip shading in the flower is excellent and contrasts well with the solid black line work that forms the majority this lovely tattoo. The well-balanced design perfectly captures the delicate nature of these sensual garments and the ornamental filigree at the top of the piece works well to better frame the flower. The line work is consistent and even, allowing the artist to demonstrate their skill and create a unique, feminine tattoo.
This is a great example of how ornamental lace designs can be successfully used to improve existing tattoos. Here, we can see that the rose is an older tattoo that the wearer wanted to add to without covering anything up, and the incorporation of lace patterns into the flowers is an interesting choice. The line work is clean and precise and the limited use of color adds to the previous tattoo without overpowering the faded colors of the rose. This tattoo shows off the versatility of these delicate designs and how they can improve and augment preexisting work.
Here is another lace-inspired piece placed on the thigh that is reminiscent of garter belts. This tattoo incorporates jewels, with the artist using white ink to successfully capture the shimmering, refracted light of diamonds and pearls. The shading is fairly balanced and consistent; however, some of the line work in the lace suffers from imprecision, although with the well-executed jewel at the center of the piece these small imperfections will most likely go unnoticed. This is a solid piece and a good example of the style.
This tattoo demonstrates how a talented artist can incorporate different styles and still create a cohesive design. Here, the contrast between the subtle gradations in color used to create the lotus and the precise fine line work of the lace help to create an interesting effect and help this dynamic tattoo stand out. The stipple shading in the line work adds another layer of texture to the design while the use of lace work behind the flower that follows its shape is a clever choice and helps create a more interesting composition.
This is an excellent piece that uses lace designs and script to commemorate the wearer’s love for life. There is a lot going right in this tattoo: the lace patterns are consistent and well-applied and the script work is just about perfect. Even more interesting in this tattoo is the way the artist kept the angles of shadow and light in the bow accurate. The line work is clean and precise and the gradation of tones throughout this piece is smooth enough to give a photo-realistic look. The attention to detail is remarkable and is a testament to the skill and patience of the artist; truly a wonderful tattoo.
This design uses elements of American traditional tattooing to create a unique design incorporating lace. The bold line work and limited color palette are staples of this tattoo style and are on full display here which is an interesting contrast to the patterns that are so often applied using delicate, fine line work. Also worth noting is the classic nature of an image of a woman sitting in a crescent moon and may serve as an homage to this theme so often found in the art and movies of the past. While this tattoo is simple it is well-executed and is a good example of the way lace can be incorporated into different designs.
This stunning full back piece is an incredible example of how lace can be used in large tattoos. At the center of this design is a heart-shaped emerald, notable not only for the expert use of color and highlights to capture the different facets of the gem but also because it is the only color in this otherwise black and gray piece. The consistency and attention to detail in the strings of pearls forming this corset-like design is impressive, especially noticeable in the balance of the rows in the lower portion of the tattoo. Finally, there is more recent ink being added to this piece in the form of filigree and scroll work that is reminiscent of the ornamental designs often carved into marble buildings and the bases of statues. This is a wonderful tattoo and a testament to the wearer’s dedication to her body art.
Lace tattoos are becoming more and more popular, and this design is an example of one of the ornamental pieces that define the style. The different, overlapping patterns create a layered effect that successfully uses negative space to increase contrast and produce an interesting tattoo, without the need for color. The line work is clean and precise, with the artist using a variety of shading techniques to imply lace’s unique texture. The whip shading and stippling are well-applied and consistent and the interesting placement takes advantage of the natural lines of the foot.
This piece successfully uses color and fine line work to create a great tattoo that makes use of delicate lace patterns. The placement on the wrist is nice and the way the jewels fall onto the hand will give onlookers only a hint of the piece when the wearer is in long sleeves. The focus of the design is the large pink jewel, which is expertly applied using subtle color gradation and white for highlights to capture every different facet of the cut stone. The use of black and gray as well as white for the pearls is also impressive: the artist perfectly reproduces the rounded surface of these lovely jewels. Finally, the line work that makes up the lace patterns is impeccable, using smooth curves and precise lines to successfully represent this delicate fabric.
This large black and gray back piece is an excellent example of how lace patterns can be used on a large scale. The composition in this piece is thoughtful and makes good use of the large space while maintaining balance in the small and intricate lace work. The use of a lotus at the bottom of the piece works well, allowing the detailed line work to “blossom” up and across the back. The use of different shading techniques is also excellent: the stipple shading in the flower is consistent and clean, adding texture, while the whip shading in the upper portions adds contrast. This piece shows off the artist’s talent as well as the wearer’s dedication.
This is a nice piece that uses elements from a couple different tattoo styles to create an interesting design. At the center of the piece are two pink peonies—flowers often featured in traditional Japanese tattoo designs—applied in a style that shares several characteristics with Japanese tattoo work. Serving as a backdrop for these colorful flowers is delicate line work used to create lace patterns and black and gray shading that increases the contrast with the negative space and helps the flowers pop. While this is a nice tattoo, it would benefit from bolder lines in some of the lace work that would help it to feel a bit more deliberate.
Here is a lovely, small tattoo that uses gray wash and white to complement this lace Fluer-de-Lis. This iconic, ornamental symbol can be traced back to French royalty, although it is more often associated with the “Nouvelle-France” cities of Quebec and New Orleans. The line work in this tattoo is clean and precise, with excellent details like the roses incorporated into the lace pattern. The excellent but limited use of shading, as well as the use of white to highlight the jewels are successfully applied and add an additional layer of detail to this interesting design. The stippling in the ornamental string holding the jewels is consistent and helps to complete this charming tattoo.
Here is another great example of a first-rate tattoo that features some popular design elements. Most notable here is the stipple work. The consistency in the application of the dots is apparent while the variation in density increases the contrast with the negative space and full black portions of the design. The line work in the lace patterns is precise and consistent which lets the more fluid design elements shine. The design has a balanced, organic feel reminiscent of flowers but it remains abstract enough to keep onlookers guessing.
This is a great design that successfully incorporates color into what are often monochromatic tattoos. The flowers that grow and spiral out from each other help to create a flow in this piece that draws the eye up and down the entire tattoo, while the hanging jewels on the right side help to balance the design. The whip shading in portions of the tattoo is well-applied and contrasts nicely with the negative space. The color in this piece is well-saturated and evokes images of flowers and peacocks, adding a vibrancy that isn’t often seen in these lace designs. This large back piece is a great example of how a talented artist who is thinking outside the box can result in a stunning tattoo.
Lace Tattoo Ideas for Men
Lace Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women