A tattoo shop must be clean and sterile before and after every tattoo. The process of tattooing involves puncturing the skin, a fresh tattoo is an open wound that can be prone to infection. Although the tattooing process poses little threat to a client’s health, it is essential to know that being tattooed does still run the risk of getting an infection, therefore creating a clean and sterile environment is essential. There are several steps that tattoo artists can take to reduce the risk of infection for their clients. Cleaning and sterilizing processes are mandatory within tattoo shops and may vary state to state. Some of these steps include sterilizing clients’ skin, tattooing furniture, tattoo equipment and using fresh needles, ink, and gloves for each client. This month we will touch on one of those safety tools, the tattoo glove.
As tattooing requires great dexterity from artists, it’s important that tattoo artists choose gloves that are free of constricting materials but provide protection for the skin. As one of the leading suppliers of tattoo equipment, S8 Tattoo understands what tattoo artists are looking for in a tattoo glove. While specific gloves offer different pros and cons for tattoo artists, Spirit Partners will review the three most popular types of tattoo gloves currently on the market.
Today, the three most popular types of tattoo gloves include latex, vinyl, and nitrile.
Latex tattoo gloves are the most popular gloves within medical institutions, as they are easy to use, flexible, and inexpensive. However, because latex is naturally thin, only select tattoo artists use this type of glove as it is relatively easy to puncture. Additionally, this type of tattoo glove poses a problem for clients who may be allergic to the material.
Vinyl gloves are made of a much heavier material and offer much more reliable protection than latex gloves. However, due to their heavier material, vinyl gloves can restrict artists’ movement. For this reason, many tattoo artists will use vinyl gloves for large fill-in pieces and for moving chemicals and sterilizing workplaces; however, for everyday tattoos, vinyl gloves are rarely used.
While latex gloves may be too thin and vinyl gloves too thick, for many people in the tattoo community, nitrile gloves are “just right.” Nitrile gloves are stronger than latex gloves and offer more mobility than vinyl gloves. Nitrile gloves are known to be strong enough to last through long sessions with clients while being 3-5x more resistant to punctures than latex. While these gloves do cost more than latex, they are non-allergenic and cause less friction than latex. Today, these gloves are the most popular type of tattooing glove worn by tattoo artists.