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Mehndi Designs In New Wine

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The art of mehndi has been a long-standing custom with its roots from many ancient cultures dating back as far as about 5,000 years. Today, it is still used not only in religious and ritualistic ceremonies in India, but has also reinvented itself as a modern fashion accessory. So, what exactly is mehndi ?

 The term refers to the powder and paste, the design on the skin, as well as the ceremony. It originated in Egypt and in Middle Eastern countries during ancient times. Henna powder is derived from a plant. The bush is harvested, dried, and then crushed to make henna powder. Henna itself is used for many things such as hair treatment, heat rash relief, and skin conditioner to name a few. Henna paste is what is used to apply mehndi or the designs. This beautiful body art then slowly spread to India and other hot climate area like Malaysia, Persia, Syria, Morocco, Sudan and North Africa but is most known today for its history in India.

Henna powder itself is green in color, but the stain it leaves behind is usually an orange-red color. It’s safe and painless since it does not need the skin to be pierced. It’s completely natural and harmless. It produces nil to low amount of sensitive to reactions. Though many suppliers now offer mehndi in a variety of colors, henna is best in its pure form. It’s exciting, exotic, beautiful, and as simple or complicated as one may want it to be. It can last for a couple of days or as long as a month. This 50 century old tradition combined with the modern craze of contemporary designs render it as an art with vast culture and contemporaneousness.

The mehndi powder mixed with hot water is made into a paste which is traced on a design on the specific body part; much the same way icing of a cake is done using a cone which contains the paste inside it. Once the design (tattoo) is done it is allowed to dry. A solution of lemon juice and sugar is applied to the drying mehndi to set it and bring out its shimmering texture.

The dried paste is scraped off, or washed with water that leaves behind the pattern in a rich reddish brown hue. The color and longevity of this tattoo depends on how long one may leave the paste on the skin (the longer the paste is left the darker the stain). For most effective results, the mehndi  must be allowed to dry for seven to ten hours.

Different shades can be obtained by mixing in various natural ingredients like indigo, tea, coffee, cloves, tamarind, lemon, sugar, and various oils.

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