Although traditional electric tattooing and hand-poked tattoos require a needle, the setting up and methods used are a bit different, especially the wrapping of a needle. In electric tattooing, the grip is usually wrapped with grip tape, and a protective cover is put on the clip cord. In hand-poked tattooing, only the needle is wrapped to give the tattoo artist some sort of grip, avoiding the needle from slipping or accidentally being dropped.
Tattoo artist Andy Pollard shares in her video, how to exactly wrap a needle to do a hand-poked tattoo. Let's check it out.
Checking the needle for the expiration date is crucial and should also be done in electric tattooing. Most artists take this step and open the needle packaging in front of their client, so the client knows everything is clean, sterilized, and within the tattooing guidelines.
If an artist doesn't check the expiration date, and the needle is expired, the artist risks the client being exposed to viruses and bacteria on a higher level than with a sterilized needle, as expired needles lose their sterilization. And therefore, no longer protect from viruses and bacteria.
However, there is an option to resterilize an expired needle by using an autoclave, which most artists and tattoo shops should carry regardless.
The next step, after checking the expiration date, requires wrapping the needle in grip tape, which she uses about a foot of 1-inch wide grip tape. As seen in the video, she uses the raw edge of the tape and wraps it around the needle until it forms a grip to hold it.
That's option #1.
In option #2, she uses a tongue depressor where she angles the back of the needle and then wraps the grip tape around it, alternating between going towards the tip and towards the base, to create thickness.
The most important step in both options - aside from checking the expiration date - is to create enough thickness to hold the needle between the fingers, as well as for the needle to be secured.