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25 Amazing Filigree Tattoo Design and Ideas with Meaning

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Tattoo artists these days are vying to make their mark in the competitive industry by figuring out new ways to improve their designs. To adhere to these new challenges, more and more artists are picking up on the relatively new trend of incorporating filigree styling in their designs. Filigree design originated back in the 16th century when it was primarily used in jewelry and architecture. Today, filigree has emerged as an enriching option for tattooists and their customers.  As a result, artists can make filigree work in many new ways in their craft. Everyone loves how filigree patterns have the amazing ability to make a tattoo look realistic and modern, or aged if required. There’s a lot an artist can do with filigree as the artist’s imagination is only limited by their talent. Furthermore, some of the most incredible filigree tattoos are purely filigree, with no other design element present.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries, filigree designs were commonly made of gold or silver wires. At that time, no piece of jewelry or architecture was complete without a touch of filigree. As filigree reemerges through the medium of tattooing, tattoo designs are looking more flourished and beautiful. In this article, I’ve showcased some of the most attractive filigree tattoos on the internet. Each design’s artist/source is credited where possible so that you can explore further. 

Filigree Tattoos

Filigree tattoos look amazing in different visible locations of the body. Here are 25 amazing filigree tattoo designs that are sure to inspire you:

Chest Filigree Tattoos

Chest Filigree Tattoos

@samsaratattoobinley via Instagram

This black and grey masterpiece by the artist looks astounding on the man’s right pectoral continuing onward onto the outer right arm via the shoulder region. The contribution of the filigree pattern to the classic clockwork tattoo design is phenomenal. The filigree inclusion adds a perfect blend of modernity to the intricate old-world clock and its mechanism.

Chest Filigree Tattoos

@daily.danish.ink via Instagram

The great thing about filigree is that it adds an ornamental look to just about any design. Take this stunning chest and arm piece for example. This piece has a skull, woman, and clock design with filigree surroundings. By incorporating filigree, the design looks elegant, modern, and unique.

Chest Filigree Tattoos

@lianakinnen_art via Instagram

Here the chest tattoo looks more complete and symmetrical because of the filigree pattern on the outer sections of the main elements (skull, woman, and tiger). The focal part is the 3D tiger right in the center. This ornamental animal tattoo looks pretty amazing on the skin. This shows how unique animal tattoos can look when amalgamated with filigree.

Chest Filigree Tattoos

@clarasinclairart via Instagram

In the above chest tattoo, the emphasis on filigree is more prominent than in the other two chest designs on this list. The artist has done a beautiful job with the color scheme and the fine detailing. Filigree is a relatively new style in tattooing. I recommend getting such designs inked by artists that are experienced, as they typically use the best tattoo kits available, to ensure perfection and safety during the process.

Chest Filigree Tattoos

@renemvrie via Instagram

Filigree tattoos are inspired by the popularity of filigree style jewelry from the mid 16th to 19th century period. The jewelry back then was mainly gold and silver. This chest piece — having hints of gold color — on the woman is a tattoo of that stature, yet it looks like an elegant filigree style necklace. 

Collar Filigree Tattoos

Collar Filigree Tattoos

@amiratattoos via Instagram

This is a jewel in a filigree setting tattoo design. The heart-shaped diamond is framed in elegant, gold filigree. To me, that’s beautiful, elegant, and unique. There’s no better placement than a woman’s collar region for a stunning tattoo like this.   

Collar Filigree Tattoos

@clarasinclairart via Instagram

This black, green, and grey tattoo on the collar region is proof that a pure filigree design can look amazing on a man. The artist has maintained perfect symmetry throughout the linework, shading, and colors. 

Back Filigree Tattoos

Back Filigree Tattoos

@tattos_by_zoe_emily via Instagram

This is yet another example of a pure filigree tattoo. This large tattoo on the woman’s back looks stylish, elegant, and perfectly symmetrical. I love that it is simple and not dense. The artist has used impeccable fine lining skills and the design has turned out successful in every possible way.

Back Filigree Tattoos

@clarasinclairart via Instagram

The above tattoo on the woman’s center upper back depicts swallows and a heart. The heart is filled with a beautiful filigree pattern. Perhaps the artist’s inspiration was the filigree style architecture of the past that had extensive use of the style across monuments and other prominent buildings. Below the neck is the ideal placement area for an amazing medium-sized tattoo like this. 

Back Filigree Tattoos

@aidovich88 via Instagram

The eye in the center of this tattoo design represents the soul or spiritual awareness. This design has various spiritual, religious elements. What sets it apart is the embellishment with filigree. Only an expert can ink such a design with so much perfection. 

Back Filigree Tattoos

@aarondellavedova_art via Instagram

This full-back tattoo is amazing in every possible way. It took the artist two years to complete and we can see why. The use of gold color for the filigree part of the design adds a traditional touch. All in all, the gifted artist did an incredible job at the composition, which although is dense, looks picture perfect and soothing to the eye.  

Neck & Head Filigree Tattoos

Neck & Head Filigree Tattoos

@nezz_tat2 via Instagram

In the design above the artist has made incredible use of a stylish filigree pattern around the pyramid. Paying heed to the detailing of the 3D eye’s cornea and iris, it’s safe to say the design couldn’t have been more realistic. This is one of those tattoos, wherein you’re bound to hear the client say “the pain was worth it”.

Neck & Head Filigree Tattoos

@rebelmusekcmo via Instagram

If you’re bold enough to consider getting a tattoo inked on your full head and neck, you’ll be bold enough to bear the pain. With a prominent filigree design like the above, you can’t go wrong. 

Forearm Filigree Tattoos

Forearm Filigree Tattoos

@dannypokes via Instagram

The forearm is one of the most popular places to get a tattoo on your body. This black and grey lion tattoo is a great option as it’s spruced up with an ornamental filigree pattern to add to the fun.  

Forearm Filigree Tattoos

@gracie.tattoos via Instagram

This poker-inspired piece with extensive use of filigree is sure to attract eyeballs wherever you go.  

Forearm Filigree Tattoos

@nezz_tat2 via Instagram

Nothing but filigree can make the above dove and rose tattoo look so complete.  

Arm & Sleeve Filigree Tattoos

Arm & Sleeve Filigree Tattoos

@nezz_tat2 via Instagram

In the above sleeve tattoo, the artist has done an excellent job at incorporating filigree with the elements of time and direction. In the design, you can see a vivid depiction of a pocket watch, compass, map, rose, and filigree.

Arm & Sleeve Filigree Tattoos

@docotattoo via Instagram

This dense yet attractive tattoo includes filigree to make it look ornamental. It almost looks like a fake sleeve because the artist’s superior abilities make it seem like a digital print, which it isn’t.  

Arm & Sleeve Filigree Tattoos

@tattoosbyseank via Instagram

This tattoo makes the cut because of its perfection and the artist’s distinguished, cohesive selection of the design elements. The elements are the compass, the American flag, and filigree. The tattoo wouldn’t have been to this unique effect with the filigree missing. The faded look is exceptionally smart on the artist’s part, as it gels well with the whole ideology behind the filigree style. 

Stomach & Rib Filigree Tattoos

Stomach & Rib Filigree Tattoos

@knicktattoo via Instagram

This 100% filigree tattoo on the woman’s stomach looks astonishing, to say the least. The use of grey and turquoise has never before looked this stunning on the skin. Only with filigree patterns can one attain such a unique effect. 

Stomach & Rib Filigree Tattoos

@mikewilliams.nq via Instagram

We know making a tattoo a filigree tattoo won’t add any special meaning to it. Yet, it gives it a more remarkable look. Taking the above stomach and rib area tattoo as the example, you can see how the resting eagle and sun backdrop design falls in place perfectly with the help of a bit of filigree.

Hand(s) Filigree Tattoo

Hand(s) Filigree Tattoo

@lilianraya via Instagram

The silver look, jewels, and filigree are the traditional mid-16th-century elements of design that we mentioned earlier. In these hand tattoos, no other modern tattoo elements were added. Yet, the feminine, realistic appeal of the original filigree influence is all intact.   

Hand(s) Filigree Tattoo

@tattoostimcichon via Instagram

This green and white, skull and filigree tattoo design is customized for the hand. It looks amazing on this location of the body as the filigree adds a chic touch to the design. 

Leg Filigree Tattoo

Leg Filigree Tattoo

@darcynutt via Instagram

This daring full-leg sleeve looks amazing on the woman’s entire right hip and leg region. This type of design looks incredible when wearing a bikini or short shorts. My favorite part is the juxtapositioning of the elements with the filigree and the soothing choice of colors. This design is incomparable to anything seen before. 

Leg Filigree Tattoo

@trang_tattoos via Instagram

This filigree tattoo has everything going for it. It’s a realistic design with the proper use of filigree for ornamentation. Surprisingly, everything falls into place to make the man’s calves look even more macho, even though they have all feminine design elements.  

Conclusion

Isn’t it amazing how badass filigree tattoos look? It’s astonishing how such a floral style can look equally good on men as it does on women. How you implement the style depends a lot on the artist’s talent and abilities. There’s no doubt in my mind this style will continue to gain popularity in the times to come. You may have lots of tattoo designs in mind, each for a different location of your body. Yet, with the added knowledge and inspiration through this article, you’ll now be able to further polish and distinguish the design by adding a bit of filigree every here and there.

About Author

Jonathan Corby "Jonny" is a guy who is passionate about Tattooing and successfully running a Tattoo Studio in NY. Through my journey as a Tattoo Artist I have made unforgettable memories. This irrational poetry and sense of freedom of art on skin has given a blissfull experience to my life. Each Tattoo has a story behind it; Lets share one!