The Weaving Room
The background of this page demonstrates a weave which was once known as "monk's cloth"...and
shows the simplicity of the fabrics which were used for monastic wear in the ancient past. Today
habits are more likely made of denim (for labor), cotton (for warm places and seasons) or wool (for cold
places) twill. Each item in the holy habit is blessed and brings to mind a particular Scriptural reference
each time it is put on. During these times of changes in discipline and questioning of older ways the
habit was replaced in many places by secular clothing. However, the canon laws referring to vowed religious
do call for a distinctive HABIT to be worn, and most orders are returning to a more distinctive garb. There
is still much flux from place to place about what will be used as a habit, but the study and prayer goes on
in an effort to help the religious to stand out in prophecy in their life by their clothing as well as by other
aspects of their life.
In the past much of the cloth needed by the community would have been produced in the
monastery. For the past 250 years or so it is purchased. Where a community does spinning and weaving it is usually
of fabrics to be used in vestments and other liturgical items, and for sale to help support the community.
Some monasteries were known in the past for the production of great tapestries, and that art is
returning in some places today.