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The most important piercing tool

Needles are part of a piercer’s stock in trade – not the sewing variety, but specialist surgical ones. Like all tools and materials used in a piercing studio, piercing needles must be sterile and hypoallergenic.

The needles are usually single use and hollow, with thin walls made from a polymer called FEP. They have a smooth surface, and incorporate four contrast lines to ensure that the jewellery is placed in exactly the right position. The needles have diagonal, superfine conical catheter tips that penetrate the skin without traumatic side effects and make them as sharp as a scalpel. They come in a sterile plastic tube.

Once the skin is pierced, the needle is withdrawn, the jewellery placed through the small plastic tube, and the tube withdrawn. The piercing is then complete.