Looking for something small and delicate as a filler flower, or a memorial to a loved one? Baby’s breath is an excellent choice, with not only a simple beauty, but a host of commemorative meanings.
The Baby’s Breath flower has been a popular filler flower for bouquets since the early 1800s. As a tattoo it’s also a great way to celebrate and symbolize new beginnings, whether it’s a new life brought into the world, or a new chapter in your own life.
This article explores the history behind the Baby’s Breath flower, and its inclusion in tattoos, as well as the various meanings and symbolism this flower can carry.
What Is The History of Baby’s Breath Tattoos?
Baby’s Breath isn’t one of the traditional flowers used in the oldest forms of floral tattoo designs.
They have a lacy, delicate look that has been prized since the Victorian era, but when they became part of tattooing is not well documented.
Their connection to European and American symbolism stems from the Victorian era, when it was a popular symbol for baby showers, which is part of how the flower got its name.
History of Baby’s Breath Flowers:
Originally the flowers were native to Eurasia, Africa and even Australia.
Their delicate, lacy appearance made them popular flowers in European circles for flower arrangements.
In the Victorian Era, they became a popular filler for flower arrangements and incorporated into Victorian Flower Language.
There are some rumors that it was also called Soapwort, but the official Soapwort plant is a different species entirely.
By the 1830s, it had been brought over and cultivated in the Americas, where it was renamed Baby’s Breath, for its growing popularity as a symbolic flower given at baby showers.
It also became a staple flower for weddings. It was considered a beautiful flower to supplement other arrangements, as well as a symbol of well wishes for a new life.
What Do Baby’s Breath Symbolize?
The flower has a number of meanings and symbolic depictions.
Most commonly, it is used to symbolize innocence and purity – part of their association with infants.
Given to a loved one or as part of a bouquet, it can be used to symbolize eternal love – hence its popularity in wedding floral arrangements.
Religiously, it can be a symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Though most commonly seen in white, baby’s breath can be found in other colors. The coloring can hold different meanings as well as the typical meanings of the flower.
Symbolism According to Colors:
- White: spirituality, self-discipline, and freedom
- Blue: Honesty and Respect
- Orange: Joy and Optimism
- Red: Passion and Love
- Pink: Gentleness
- Purple: Royalty and Beauty
- Yellow: Joy and Cheerfulness
Baby’s breath is often dyed to achieve these colors, but it can be found in these hues naturally as well.
What Do Baby’s Breath Tattoos Mean?
In many cases, Baby’s Breath is used as an accent for other tattoos, like a border or an overhead.
Baby’s Breath is also commonly used to commemorate a loved one, as a memorial flower.
As with the actual flower, these tattoos can symbolize wishes for positive new beginnings, or optimism for a new stage in life.
Done in different colors, these tattoos can also reflect or commemorate the beginning of circumstances or relationships that foster the feelings the colors represent.
Baby’s Breath around names is usually a commemoration of a birth, or a memorial.
Around an animal or other tattoos, it might symbolize commemoration or celebration of associated individuals or events.
Baby’s Breath in blue or pink can be used to symbolize the birth of a child – blue is often used for boys, and pink for baby girls. These may often accompany a name or a date for further remembrance.
Where Do Baby’s Breath Tattoos Usually Go?
Due to the small, delicate nature of the flower, there’s pretty much no place this tattoo can’t be placed.
Lower arms, upper arms, ankles and the shoulder blades are all popular locations for these tattoos.
Upper and lower arms, as well as ankles, make excellent locations for memorial tattoos.
In some cases, these tattoos can also be found in more uncommon places, such as a sprig behind the ear.
In some cases, people will choose to have a long chain or a large spray across the front of the shoulder or the collarbones.
A few small or miniature versions can be found along the spine. These are usually single sprigs in a more linear or stalk-like pattern
Sometimes medium arrangements will be found across the ribs or sides.
Styles and Characteristics of Baby’s Breath Tattoos:
Baby’s Breath tattoos tend to share many common characteristics.
– They’re usually realistic or slightly illustrated images.
– Baby’s breath are most commonly depicted in springs or sprays of flowers, with multiple blooms rather than a single flower.
– Sprays are usually depicted in a fan shaped pattern, where sprigs tend to be more linear.
– Sprays are the more common depiction for baby’s breath, due to the more lace-like imagery.
– Most depictions are done in small, delicate, sometimes lacy patterns, in keeping with their imagery as flowers and their uses in floral arrangements.
– Miniature versions of this tattoo are often very popular, since the small size of the flower is well suited to them.
– The most common representations are white or sketch-style flowers.
– These flowers are usually depicted in pastel shades, rather than the more vibrant colors that are commonly used with many other flowers
– These can sometimes be done in a wreath-like arrangement or pattern, particularly tattoos done across the shoulders or ribcage.
The Baby’s Breath flower can be used as an excellent accent flower for other imagery, floral or otherwise. It also makes a perfect representation for commemorating family and friends in almost any situation.
Whether as a memorial or a decoration, Baby’s breath has the potential to be the perfect choice for use in whatever tattoo design you choose to design.