I Googled "henna," and found this at Wikipedia:
"Henna, Lawsonia inermis, produces a red-orange dye molecule, lawsone.
This molecule has an affinity for bonding with protein, and thus has
been used to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather, silk and wool.
Henna's indigenous zone is the tropical savannah and tropical arid
zone, in latitudes between 15° and 25° N and S from Africa to the
western Pacific rim, and produces highest dye content in temperatures
between 35°C and 45°C. It does not thrive where minimum temperatures
are below 11°C. Temperatures below 5°C will kill the henna plant. The
dye molecule, lawsone, is primarily concentrated in the leaves, and is
in the highest levels in the petioles of the leaf. Products sold as
"black henna" or "neutral henna" are not made from henna, but may be
derived from indigo (in the plant Indigofera tinctoria) or Cassia
obovata, and may contain unlisted dyes and chemicals."
This is barely a jumping off point, since there is really no specific
documentation here for, say, dyeing leather or silk in the
whatever-century applicable to SCA, but if this information (above) is
correct, then the documentation is out there *somewhere,* and can be
Also found this, as a result of the same Google search:
This makes sense, since the Wikipedia article points out that henna
pigment/dye has an affinity for proteins: skin, nails, hair, leather,
From "The Henna Page," there is this section on Henna and Leather,
including, if you scroll down, a link for...wait for it..."Henna'ed
Drumheads in Medieval Spain."
Not a whole lot to go on, but something, and it is both Spanish and
Hope this helps--
Yseult the Gentle
--- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, anorathepain@... wrote:
> hello all I am looking for any help documenting the use of henna in
decorations other than skin.... ie drums, leather, wood...... mainly
looking in the area of spain but we will take anything..... help
> Sable, in pile a rose slipped and leaved argent and a feather Or.
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