Soa is the Lao word for "dark" and we use it to describe a mix of dark shades dyed using this natural plant dye process. Due to variation in the vines, time of year the vines are harvested, and natural dye process, Soa bags range from gray to black and sometimes include very dark blue-black or coppery brown. Soa includes some bags that are mottled, striped, two-toned, or multicolored. Soa bags are stunningly beautiful.
Many soa bags are dyed using a natural plant dye. Khmu artisans boil the bark from two different trees along with the leaves from another plant to create a dark dye bath for the JungleVine® Fiber. Next the fiber is soaked in mud and then rinsed.
The dye bath is heated over an outdoor fire.
An entire village of artisans dye their fiber in the dye bath.
They rinse the excess dye from the fiber at the community well. For nearly all Khmu villages, this is the sole water source for the entire village.
They hang the dyed fiber to dry.