Can you tell me about weaving at the missions and its importance?
Weaving was very important. The missions had to make their own clothing, rugs and blankets. The primary material used was wool .Most of the missions had herds of sheep. In 1832, the last year for which records were kept, there were 137,969 sheep at the 21 missions.
There was a lot of activity connected with the sheep and weaving. Some of the neophytes became sheep herders. The sheep had to be sheared. Later the wool was washed, dyed, carded and combed by the women at the mission. Then looms were used to weave the prepared wool.
On Mission Days at La Purisima docents demonstrate weaving, as shown in the picture below.
Of course you can weave with many things: grasses, palm leaves even thin strips of wood. Long before the missionaries came the California Indians wove wonderful baskets, some of which are on display at the mission museums.