Gunjan Jain is a textile designer and researcher. She has been working with handloom weavers in Odisha, India since 2008 with a focus on reviving dying and lesser known weaves of the state. These include the Bomkai weave, the Dhalapathar weave, ikat textiles on handspun tussar silks and in natural dyes, and the Jala (extra weft) technique on tussar silks. Under her design label, Vriksh, which specialises in Odisha handwoven textiles, she works on bringing in contemporary aesthetics, ensuring traditional designs are re-interpreted by retaining existing values whilst adding a fresh perspective to each piece. She is also currently a freelance designer in Kashmir collaborating with craftspeople working on different traditional textile crafts such as Sozni embroidery, Ari embroidery, Namda wool felting and Tilla embroidery.
She was awarded ‘Designer of the Year 2016′ in the sari category at Vogue India Fashion Fund by Vogue magazine for her contemporary work in Odisha handwoven textiles. Over the years, Vriksh weavers are proud recipients of several awards including the National Handloom Award, the National Merit Handloom Award, the Odisha State Handloom Award, Sutrakar Samman and the Shanta Prasad Award for best handloom weaving practice.