Top 101 Celtic Knot Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]
Celtic knot tattoos serenely capture the Iron Age’s most prominent tokens of prosperity. Their remarkable brilliance is being diligently preserved through the marvels of modern ink.
Celtic knots are illustrious emblems that can unite every tattoo cognoscente on the planet.
These grandiloquent patterns are filled with sentimental meanings that can be traced back to the height of Medieval Europe. Each interwoven creation comes with its own ascribed mystique.
The winding curvature is an undying representation of immortality. These lavish loops innately showcase the perpetual essence of infinitum. Beyond this universal value, each individual Celtic knot is imbued with its own specific energy. There is a design for almost every purpose. Options include wisdom, love, inner strength, artistry and luck.
For an extremely arcane dose of chivalry, there are some serendipitous Celtic knots that are equipped with more specificity. These variations include the Shield of Destiny and the Eternity of Nature. Of course, no incarnation can compete with the prevalence of a Celtic Cross. This particularly poignant emblazonment infuses pagan worship with Christian theology.
While a special amulet can get misplaced, this ink shall remain forever. To access the invaluable aura of a Celtic knot tattoo, check out our rampantly ravishing assortment right here!
See more about - Top 37 Celtic Tattoo Ideas
1. Black Ink Celtic Knot Tattoos
Tattoos are as varied and diverse as the people who choose to wear them, and as such, it is no surprise that the styles and approaches utilized better suit some people more than others. This is just as true of Celtic inspired designs as any other style and for some people black ink is the only way to go.
Thankfully, the intricate loops and endless knots of these pieces provide more than enough detail to make up for a lack of color. The opportunity for detail that these knot work designs provide ensures that a talented artist will never get bored inking these powerful symbols of Celtic heritage.
2. Traditional Tribal Celtic Knot Tattoo Sleeves
Art is always changing and evolving and the designs that were groundbreaking one day are passé the next. Despite this endless innovation, for many people an approach that honors the heritage and tradition of a style is more closely aligned with their attitudes and personality.
This is especially true for these knot work pieces that most commonly serve as commemorations to the wearer’s Celtic heritage. These traditional knot work designs are great examples of the style and will remain just as compelling twenty years down the line as they are today.
3. Technical Celtic Knot Tattoos
Celtic knot work tattoos are powerful symbols of cultural pride, and many people choose to get them as a way to display their Celtic heritage; they also happen to be beautiful designs that provide artists with endless opportunities to stretch their technical muscles.
The depth of intricacy in these knots can be mind–blowing and the best of these tattoos can leave the observer’s head spinning when trying to follow the endless loops and knots.
These excellent tattoos also demonstrate the variety of approaches that can be incorporated into Celtic knot work designs: from fully saturated black ink, to a meticulous application of fine dots to create depth and shading, these tattoos are more versatile than one may expect.
4. Illustrative Celtic Knot Tattoos
The only limits on tattoos are the skill of the artist and the creativity of the client, and because of this freedom of expression Celtic knot work can be utilized in some surprising ways. Many artists take an illustrative approach to tattoos that can make for unique and mind–blowing designs. S
ome of these tattoos use knot work as a decorative feature on realistic armor applied to the shoulder, while others use the knot work itself to produce images reminiscent of stone carvings. These excellent Celtic tattoos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what is possible with knot work designs.
5. Small Black and Gray Celtic Knot Tattoos
Some people use large designs with bright colors to demonstrate to the world their vibrant personality, while for other people such elaborate work can seem gaudy and extravagant. For these folks small, black and gray designs are the perfect choice and Celtic knot work provides an excellent opportunity for this approach.
The intricacy of the knots means that even small monochromatic designs won’t seem boring or over simplified and the ability to use knot work to create different shapes and designs—notably crosses and the three pointed shape known as the triquetra—provides artists the ability to utilize knot work in unique and creative ways. These tattoos are great examples of just how compelling small, black and gray knot work piece can be.
6. Celtic Knot Tattoos Incorporating Crosses
One interesting element that is common in these designs is the Celtic cross. This unique Christian image has an interesting past: many people believe that St. Patrick himself introduced this cross to Ireland on his mission to convert the people of the island to Christianity. While this is a lovely story, the reality may be a bit more complicated.
The Celtic cross is more likely a blending of a pagan symbol that represented the sun with the Christian cross. This is a common practice when converting populations that has happened around the world throughout history. This complex past adds even more significance to these uniquely Irish symbols that serve as excellent elements in a variety of Celtic tattoos.
7. Black Ink Based Celtic Tattoo Sleeves
In the past, full sleeves were considered extreme and outside of sailors, convicts and tattoo artists, not many people sported these large tattoos. In today’s world, tattoos are far less controversial and having a fully inked arm won’t elicit the gasps and slack jaws that it once did. Sleeves, whether on the arm or the leg, are a great choice for large designs and Celtic knot work pieces are perfectly suited for this approach.
Arm sleeves in particular, make for excellent knot work canvases thanks to the pronounced musculature of the arm and the natural lines that a tattoo artist can use to enhance a design. Even using a strictly black ink approach, the Celtic knot sleeves are sure to turn heads wherever they go.
8. Large Size Color Celtic Knot Tattoos
For some people the only way to truly express the vibrancy of their personality is through large, full color tattoos. While Celtic knot work may not be the first thing that comes to mind when hearing “full color”, thanks to talented artists and clever designs, these tattoos demonstrate the way color can be successfully incorporated into Celtic knot work tattoos. By utilizing different design elements—especially stylized shoulder armor—these pieces prove that there is more to knot work than just black ink.
9. Upper Arm Celtic Knot Tattoos
The upper arm has been a popular place for tattoos for decades: for many from older generation this was the place to get ink. It remains a great location for tattoos to this day, and for good reason. The prominent muscle of the biceps and triceps and the larger size of the upper arm compared to the forearm mean that bigger designs can be applied here.
The location higher on the arm also provides the wearer an added level of discretion concerning who can and cannot see their ink. As these excellent pieces demonstrate, Celtic knot work tattoos look great on the upper arm.
10. Celtic Knot Chest Tattoos
Another popular location for tattoos, the chest is a great choice for knot work designs for a few reasons, the first of which is size. The chest is one of the larger canvases on the body, only surpassed by the back and pieces that utilize the entire torso. This large size means that more intricate and stunning designs can be applied – and this goes for Celtic knot work tattoos as well.
There is also a powerful significance to tattoos placed on the chest. There is no better way to demonstrate the deep significance of an image or design than placing it directly over the heart, and these pieces are great examples of how this placement can be utilized for Celtic knot work tattoos.
11. Small Color Celtic Knot Tattoos
While the large designs that people apply to their chests and backs are perfect for some, many people choose to commemorate their Celtic heritage with smaller, more personal tattoos. This more subdued approach uses small color pieces and is the perfect way to produce some of the powerful Celtic shapes like the Shield of Destiny and Eternity of Nature knots. These self-contained designs are prefect for standalone designs and these pieces expertly incorporate these patterns into their designs.
12. Celtic Band Tattoos
One trend that has gained popularity in the tattoo world uses Celtic knot work to create bands that wrap around a portion of the body. The intricate details in these pieces and the way the patterns can be continually repeated make them the perfect choice for arm, leg or finger band tattoos.
These wraparound designs can also be incorporated into larger pieces and act as “straps” on which other emblems or designs can be “mounted”. These pieces are great examples of the versatility of these Celtic knot work bands.
13. Celtic Knot Tattoos Featuring Animals
People have been tattooing animals on their bodies for centuries and these different creatures are the perfect additions to Celtic knot work designs. While realistic animals can incorporated in designs that feature knots, another way to work animals into these designs is to use the knots themselves to create the creature. These excellent tattoos demonstrate how successful this approach can be.
14. Celtic Knots Featuring Mjolnir
While the intricate knot work that we have seen in these tattoos is most often associated with the Celtic peoples of Ireland and Scotland, a very similar artistic tradition has its roots in the Norse peoples more commonly referred to as the Vikings.
One common element in these knot work designs is Mjolnir, the Norse god Thor’s hammer. This distinct design can be incorporated into designs with numerous different elements, from animals and dragons, to the God of Thunder himself. These pieces demonstrate the appeal of this mythical hammer of the gods.
Did you enjoy these Celtic knotwork designs? Click in the links below for more killer Celtic ink example galleries: