Re: Standards for Indian henna powder (and the dye is: *drum roll*)

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Posted by Catherine Cartwright Jones on September 16, 2002 at 22:43:36:

In reply to: Re: Standards for Indian henna powder (and the dye is: *drum roll*) posted by maxx on September 16, 2002 at 21:32:09:

Why would it be economically unfeasible for India to get powder out
the door without scrap, grit and dye when Pakistan, Iran, Morocco, and
Yemen seem to be able to do so? I don't think labor conditions in any
one of those countries are better or worse than any other. And, the
henna industry is less hazardous than most. If people have to put
their children out to work by age 10, at least the henna industry
isn't killing them by age 16 like several others I can think

I know about what the carton prices are of all the hennaes before they
leave the country .... if one were to demand that "pure" henna leave
the docks rather than adulterated henna, and agree to pay double the
price, you'd be shocked at how little difference it would make in your
henna budget. Last I checked, 90% of what you pay for henna is
shipping, customs, tarifs, couriers and markups.

Personally ... I'd like to see whole leaf imported, then ground and
sifted individually here. The dye "keeps" better in whole leaf anyway.

Where does the notion that Indian henna is the best come from? From
Indian sellers who tell us that we should judge henna on the
"greenness" and insist that they have the best. I've checked enough
henna now, and read enough botany papers to know that's nothing more
than salesmanship. India currently has the better infrastructure,
communications and economic, with the US than the Muslim countries.
And, the language of commerce in India is English. That gives them an
edge on selling to the US. Yes, many Indian hennaes are very good.
That doesn't excuse adding green dye and other stuff and lying about
it. Other countries and companies, particularly Atabaki's Iranian
hennaes, Abid's Jamila, and Morocco's Tazarine are a damn sight
cleaner and they give stains as good or better.


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