Patch tattoos?

The trend in tattoos that look like embroidery


The so-called Embroidery Tattoos, also known as Patch tattoos in English, are a trend these days.

In the world of tattooing, the bar is getting higher every day, with artists challenging the possibilities of body art by proposing ever more daring designs.

Realism is the most demanding of all styles, and achieving that effect on the skin is really very difficult. But when we believed that it was only about representing human or animal features, the Patch Tattoo came to break those rules

As another discipline in Realism, patch tattoos literally look like embroidery on the skin. The effect is really impressive, they look like real patches!

Do you want to know more about this? Keep reading to know more.

How do embroidery tattoos come about?

This style arises from the idea of ​​representing the most emblematic embroidery techniques on the skin, such as cross stitch and crewel. These are two unique ways of embroidering, in which one pattern will be prioritized when sewing.

Cross stitch consists of small crosses stitch by stitch, combining shades with the image of the design that you want to render as an optical illusion.

Thus, if you look closely you can see the stitches, but when you look at it from afar, you have a slightly more general and wide view, and the image appears as a whole.

In this way, the same logic will be prioritized in the tattoo when making the strokes and passes with the needles, where we will not have solid colored surfaces, but a combination of crosses with different shades.

Crewel stitch embroidery is perhaps the most popular and is used to make the famous "patches" that are used on clothes.

This stitch, of English origin, is made on fabric with a type of thread called crewel, which is made with thinner wool than the rest and is embroidered with a needle of the same name. The crewel stitch is made using short, thick linear strokes, put together to achieve the desired effect.

Transferred to the tattoo, as in the embroidery on fabric, the effect will be achieved by making short lines next to each other, playing with contrasts, lights, and shadows to create volumes and three-dimensional.

Important info when tattooing

As they are designs with many details in small sizes, 3RL needles will be prioritized.

Also, there are some artists who use type 9M1 to trace the texture of the threads.

This accelerates the process and avoids wasting too long tracing thread by thread with only a 3RL.

But the thickness of the lines that will be traced will depend on the type of design. For this reason, many artists, in addition to using the 3RL as the main one, also combine with the 7RL or 9RL type, depending on the needs.

To achieve the effect of crewel embroidery, certain important aspects must be considered.

In these designs, the vertical lines and the direction in which they will be arranged should be prioritized. Remember that we will always use short strokes, which, once the entire tattoo has been designed, will form several lines, one on top of the other.


When it comes to small designs, just keep it simple. Don't go overboard with the details.

Therefore, when you want to make a complex design, it is better that, at a minimum, your design has a size of approximately 6×6 centimeters.

On the other hand, you should constantly clean the needles if your design has many colors or shades, since if you don't, you can contaminate and stain the original colors. Pay attention to this.

And, finally, as it is a technique that requires many strokes, it can be quite aggressive for the skin and the area can become very inflamed, causing discomfort to the client.

For this, it is recommended that you do not rush. Respect the times of the skin, inflammation, and bleeding. Remember to always check with your client if everything is going well.

Embroidery tattoos, do they last over time?

As with Micro Tattoos, when it comes to tattoos with so many details, in small spaces and with lines so close together. Many people think that after a few years, they may lose their definition and end up expanding in very unwanted ways.

Some say that very detailed tattoos, with the natural regeneration process of the skin, can lose definition and end up being a mixture of inks that are not well understood.

But the truth is that this style of tattooing is quite new. Therefore, not enough time has passed to determine its long-term durability.

This is a bit controversial, as some tattooists say that this type of tattoo does not survive the passage of time, and others say that they change but not significantly.

If you want to know more about this, read our article Micro tattoos… Do they last over time? where we talk in-depth about this controversial topic.

So, are embroidery tattoos a good idea?

Undoubtedly, this style of tattoo that emerges from realism is very original, and its designs are causing a stir in the tattoo world.

As we mentioned before, Realism is the most demanding and difficult style of all to achieve. This is why getting a tattoo that really looks like embroidery and with such a level of detail can take a lot of time and practice to achieve good results.

The important thing is to maintain neatness and never forget the volumes, as well as the lights and shadows, which are responsible for generating three-dimensionality.

Tastes vary, but if you want to innovate in your designs and go one step further, embroidery tattoos can be an excellent idea.

If you read this, we can see this interests you, but if you have any questions, drop us a comment!