About Stencils and Their Importance
Stencils (also known as “line drawings” or “liners”) are created from the original artwork and serve as a blueprint for your tattoo. Stencils printed on standard printer paper are generally run through a thermofax machine at the tattoo studio to create a carbon template that will be temporarily applied to your skin before any actual ink is applied.
A Thermofax Machine
Stencils communicate to the tattooist the basic structure of the tattoo design and the other information your tattooist needs to translate the important subtleties of the design to your skin, such as the nuanced line work and shading. Once the outline of the tattoo has been applied to skin using the stencil, the tattooist will shade and/or color the tattoo, using the printed design portion of your reference as a guide. If you bring a design into a studio without stencils (or with poor quality stencils), the tattoo artist is forced to add the time it takes to create stencils for your design to the price of the tattoo, so coming with already created stencils in hand will usually save you quite a bit of time and money.
TattooFinder.com sells only Tattoo Friendly® designs by the best artists worldwide, all of which include corresponding high quality stencils. For more information, please visit our Article, “The Benefits of Using Tattoo-Friendly Design Reference.”