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Adorning your hands and feet

By Nagashree

Mehndi is an important aspect in Indian weddings. Different regions have different types of mehndi designs. Most famous types of mehndi designs are: Traditional bridal designs/ Indian designs, Arabic designs, Pakistani designs and African designs. Here are their individual characteristics that will help you identify the type of design.

mehndi minchu studio

Bridal designs

Indian mehndi designs are very diverse. They range from simple designs to extremely intricate designs. Simple designs have a big dot or a figure in back of hand (dorsal) or in the center of palm. Finger tips are covered with henna. This design is incredibly easy and can be mastered by amateurs. “Bridal designs consist of complex and detailed motifs such as conchshells, peacocks, and flowers; sometimes even the face of the bride and groom”, says mehndi artiste Urmila Mukunda.

Arabic designs

Compared to the complex Indian mehndi designs, Arabic designs are much simpler. “Arabic designs mostly comprise designs such as leaves, veins, flowers etc”, she says.  Another distinguishing feature of Arabic designs is that the shapes are not filled, they are just outlines. These designs also partially cover your hands or feet. These designs consume less amount of mehndi.

Pakistani designs

Pakistani mehndi design has a blend of complex versions of Arabic and Indian mehndi designs. “These designs are detailed and fine”, adds Urmila.

African designs

Just like the Arabic counterparts these mehndi designs are also not filled. These designs are simple geometric shapes, consisting of lines, squares and dots. The space between the lines is not as much as that of Arabic designs. These designs cover your hands, arms like a fine mesh. 

Expert Tips:

  •  Once mehndi is applied on the skin, it should left at least five hours to enhance the colour depth.
  • The mehndi should be scraped off; avoid using water. Apply coconut oil once you take the mehndi   off.
  • The mehndi on the skin should not be covered with a plastic bag or gloves as it will result in condensation from sweating and the design may be spoilt.
  • Lemon Juice and sugar syrup should be applied with cotton wool on to the mehndi once it is dry. Application may be repeated, if mehndi feels dry and hard.
  • The colour on the skin will darken one day after the mehndi has been applied.

Inputs taken from Mehndi artiste Urmila Mukunda


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