· Tuesday February 11, 2014

COOVA is Shiho Seya's range of everyday textile wares. Her purpose: to showcase the beauty of natural, woven material. Made in Hachioji, on Tokyo's western fringe, her rugs combine traditional patterns and architectural motifs, while her popular winter stole merges two pieces of textile — one lightweight, one heavy — to balance warmth and comfort.

Previously, Shiho worked at Miyashin Textiles under the guidance of Eiji Miyamoto, a mentor whose fabrics have been incorporated into the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others.

When Miyashin closed in late 2012 to become a research and training facility, Shiho shifted her focus to COOVA full-time, designing with an appreciation for the limitations of hand- and machine-made textiles. Working from a slender white-walled studio at Taito Designers Village she is surrounded by architectural plans, mathematical sketches of weaving patterns, and various textile experiments, some from Hachioji's factories and others composed thread-by-thread by the artist.