Henna is a plant-based natural dye from the leaves of the Henna plant. Henna attaches well to proteins (hence its widespread use to dye skin, nails and hair), so it will dye wool, silk and other protein fiber and fabrics beautifully. It also works well on cellulose (plant-based) fiber and fabrics, but in less dramatic, lighter hues.
This organic henna powder contains no chemicals. It’s pure and natural. Yes it looks green! But it dyes to a red color.
The henna plant is commonly known as Henna, or Mignonette Tree. Its botanical name is Lawsonia inermis.
Henna powder is easy to use. Simply add it to your dyebath, stir and heat for 1-2 hours. Then add the damp/wet, mordanted fabrics directly to the dye bath and cook on medium heat for another hour or more. Or use it to dye home-made candles and soaps
MORE ABOUT THE HENNA PLANT
From Plants for a Future: “Lawsonia inermis, commonly known as Henna, Hina, Henna tree, Mignonette tree and Egyptian privet, is a tall flowering shrub or small tree of about 7 m tall native to northern Africa, Asia, and northern Austalasia. It is much-branched and heavily-scented. Flowers are white or red in color.
Henna is one of the oldest cosmetics and the leaves are a source of dye used to color fingernails and hair, and to paint body parts. It has been part of many traditional ceremonies especially marriage.
Medicinally, it is used as remedy against a wide range of conditions. However, it is known to be harmful to people with G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) deficiency.
An essential oil obtained from the flowers is used in perfumery. It is lilac-scented. On steam distillation, the flowers yield 0.01 – 0.02% essential oil (henna oil), which can be used as a basis for perfumes.
The crushed leaves are used to prepare a very fast reddish or yellowish dye. It is used for dyeing cloth and hair, and as a cosmetic for staining finger and toe nails, palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It has long been used traditionally in Islamic culture for staining the hair, beards, nails and skin. The color can be modified by adding other dyes such as Indigo, Gambier or the powder of areca nut.
In India, henna is traditionally used to paint intricate patterns on the skin, especially on the hands and feet of a bride and her female wedding guests.
Henna is commonly used as a hair conditioner and coloring, often mixed with chamomile flowers (Chamaemelum nobile). When mixed with indigo (Indigo spp) it is used to impart a fine blue-black colour to beards and hair. For dyeing the hair, a paste of the powdered leaves is applied to it and it is bound up with leaves, wax cloth, or oilskin. After a half hour or more the preparation is washed off and the hair is found to be of a bright red colour. If desired, a second application can then be made of the powder of the indigo plant (Indigofera spp.) made into a paste with water and allowed to remain three hours. This turns the hair a jet black. Ointments can be used to make it glossy. The process must be repeated frequently, as with other dyes, on account of the growth of the hair.
Your pure henna powder should be sealed and stored in a cool, dark, dry place.