What does the spider web tattoo on the elbow represent? Prison tattoos

spider web elbow tattoo

What does a spider web tattoo on elbow signify?

The spider web tattoos were done on the elbows to signify their commitment to their community. Spider web tattoos became popular in prisons across the United States during the late 1900s. Even in current times, tattoos are still a popular tattoo for prisoners. The classic spider web tattoo may represent a battle in the wearer’s life that they’ve had to fight. When used in a maritime context, sailors will tattoo this image to signal they’re ready to return home. The web symbolizes the long wait. The number of threads on the web represents the phrase. Sometimes, symbols are interspersed in the web to signify the fang or crime.


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Five most popular tattoos in prison and their significance


The number is seen on the inmates of white supremacists and nazis. The numbers 14 and 88 can also be used, which can confuse. Fourteen refers to fourteen words that are a quote from Nazi chief David Lane: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.” The”88″ is the shorthand for the 8th letter in the alphabet, which is twice, and HH, a symbol of Heil Hitler. The majority of the time, these tattoos can be seen anywhere on the body.

The Cobweb ( Spider web)

Cobwebs are typically a symbol of a long time in prison. The symbolism is connected to spiders that capture prey or criminals confined behind bars. The tattoo is generally located on the elbow. It signifies sitting at a tee with your elbows resting on your table. And a spider has made a web on your elbow. However, it could also be found around the neck.

If you spot a colored web that is multicolored, it’s likely not a tattoo from prison. Tattoo artists of imprisonment rarely get access to color-changing ink.



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The most well-known tattoos in prison is the teardrop. The meaning of the teardrop varies according to the location. In certain areas, the tattoo could mean a lengthy prison sentence. In other places, it suggests that the wearer committed murder. If the teardrop appears to be the outline of a teardrop, it could signify the attempted murder. It could also indicate it is a sign that a prisoners’ friend has been killed and they want to retribute. Hip-hop artists and other celebs extensively used the teardrop. However, it is still a popular tattoo in prisons. Those who are just beginning their journey behind bars sporting a teardrop tattoo can quickly cause many enemies.

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Crown with five points

It is the Latin Kings Gang symbol, one of the most significant Hispanic criminal gangs in the U.S. located in Chicago. The crown is often flanked by the letters ALKN that stands for the Almighty Latin Kings Nation. Five points refer to Latin Kings being an affiliate of the People Nation gang, symbolized by the number five.

Latin Kings have a massive presence both in and out of prison. Their origins date way back as far as the 40s. Other aspects that make up the crown, like the jewels’ color in those points, could be associated with a different set of significance.

The clock that has no hands

This tattoo is noticeable, an indication of ‘doing time and doing a large amount of it. People who are serving a longer sentence may have this tattoo carved on their wrists, complete including watch straps and all, just like a genuine watch. The clock’s face can be found in various designs, like that on a Wall clock and a grandfather clock. Some clock tattoos are linked to prisons; usually, it’s just the ones with no hands.

How is Spider web tattoo on elbow related to prison term?

The tattoo of the elbow spider web can have several different significances. Still, it’s most associated with spending time in prison, being entrapped in a tangle in systems, or simply sitting unoccupied and letting the webs grow. Each prison and region is a different one with a deeper meaning to the presence or absence of a spider or the number of rings in the web. The purpose of the tattoo can vary based on what race is the person wearing it as well. As with a majority of army tattoos in certain prisons, you must prove your webs. Many tattooists will not make this tattoo to avoid any connection with prison tradition. Be careful not to get in this.


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In prisons, it’s only ornamental and usually employed to serve as a filler in traditional-style sleeves. In the context of traditional American tattooing becoming more commonplace, the webbing can visually match the design, which could be challenging to tattoo for sure.

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The meaning could be different in other regions of the world.

There are many plausible explanations. The most common factor is that people are inactive until they’ve accumulated cobwebs. That’s why it was once a popular sport in prisons or gangs. Another reason I’ve heard many times in the past applies to cyclists because if you are so busy hanging onto the handlebars and not bending your elbows, you become a victim of cobwebs. However, they also enjoy good stories and stories, so you never know!!

What is the process for tattoos in prison? Is it legal?

The practice of tattooing prisoners is the process of making and display of tattoos in prison. The tattoos of today’s American and Russian prisoners could transmit gang affiliation, codes, or secret meanings for the origin of their tattoos or even criminal acts. Defective equipment and sterile surroundings treatment to health hazards such as disease or infection (hepatitis C, HIV) due to needles that have been contaminated.

The materials they can use depend on what is available. They generally forge a tattoo gun and then harvest ink.

Ink is usually composed of soot. Plastic pieces (from a game of chess or checkers set) are heated in a small area. A newspaper is placed above the plastic that is burning to collect the soot. The soot is removed and is mixed with baby oil. That creates your ink.

Needles are formed out of the spring inside a pen. The spring is untangled and sharpened before being wrapped in the thread to secure ink.

The actual tattoo gun is made of beard trimmers (available on an online store).

The motor is derived from trimmers and then attached to a temporary bracket.

An empty tube (from a pen most often) is connected to the bracket, as well. The needle is then guided through the tube and associated with the motor. When the motor is switched on, it will move the needle around in the tube.

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The final step (if there is one) is an AC power adapter. It is used to control the strength of the motors for tattooing. That is useful for shade and overall smoothness in the lines of tattoos. You’re now ready to get getting your tattoo in prison. Locate a private area and a watch to signal you to that of a Correctional Officer. Then sterilize your needle (using a lighter and wiping off carbon deposits), and then your work is complete.

Is it legal?

However, it won’t be done with the aid of professional equipment or even remotely as clean. But there are some fantastic tattoos I’ve witnessed were done within.

If you’re wondering whether it’s legal to get a tattoo in prison, and the answer is not. If you’re caught, you’ll be subjected to disciplinary measures. Every case is unique based on the situation in which you’re spending your time and previous behavior. However, the most likely penalty will be losing time and a visit to the pit. The majority of people don’t get caught, however.


What is it that makes the spider web tattoo of the elbow so prevalent?

In the days before tattoos were accepted in society, the web of spiders on your elbow could be a sign that you’ve killed a person. The majority of white supremacists had tattoos when they were in the process of doing time. They would have been able to kill an individual in the minority. Then, today it’s a tattoo.

There are a hundred different interpretations of what the meaning of the tattoo maybe. The actual reason behind this tattoo that is so commonplace is more practical. The elbows are notoriously tricky to tattoo. It is because the skin is very thick. Therefore, it is susceptible to line blowing up and thin (a complicated healing process that makes it difficult to hold the ink in) and hard to apply a stencil.

Spider webs can be a straightforward and practical design that is simple to make with straight lines. Easy whip shading and a geometric shape effortlessly create around the “peak” of your elbow. The final product is nearly always good and can be incorporated into a variety of tattooing types.