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Mehandi / Henna Design and Technique

Indian Mehndi Creating Designs

Henna has been an inspiration to the imagination and creativity of the artists. Make your won designs- left or right-handed, simple or complex. All you need is a steady hand, a great deal of patience, and of course a creative spirit.
Organic henna body-art-designs vary by country or region, within the cultural boundaries of beauty and tradition. Shapes, pattern, and application techniques often are particular to a given area.

North African Style
The people of the mountainous or desert regions incorporate bold geometric patterns with intricate dots and wavy lines into their henna designs. The patterns are easy to see from a distance.

Indian Style
Mehandi pattern of India and Pakistan correspond to the birds and tropical plants of their regions. Ornate, arabesque designs may consist of delicate paisleys, lace-like tracery, peacocks, mangoes, leaves, hearts, and faces.

Arabian Style
The people of the Arabian Peninsula esteem decorations that incorporate vines, scrolls, and flowers. As in the North African tradition, followers of the Islamic religion usually do not paint representational art of animals or people.

Contemporary Designs
Today the marvels of henna body art have catapulted around the globe. Designs are no longer confined to local indigenous decorations, customs, and beliefs but include a melange of impressions that marry the past with the present.

Creating your own designs

Making the Paste
The goal is to have a toothpaste like or hot cream of wheat consistency that allows the henna paste to be extruded from the tip of a cone in a fine string. If you are using a toothpick applicator, the henna texture can be a bit thicker. You can store henna paste, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Basic Henna Recipe

  1. Teaspoon (5 g) powdered henna, sifted to a talcum powder consistency.

  2. Teaspoon (10 ml) distilled water or brewed dark tea, boiled and cooled to room temperature

  3. 5 drops henna oil

  4. 2 drops clove oil.

(a) In a glass or plastic bowl, combine the henna powder, water, and eucalyptus oil. Mix only after all the ingredients have been added, and mix only in one direction (clockwise or counterclockwise). Stir quickly to eliminate all lumps.


(b) If possible, let the paste ferment for at least 5 hours before using. Cover the mixture but do not seal or refrigerate. To test consistency, gather paste on a spoon and invert. The paste should drop off the spoon in 10-15 seconds.s

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