During its heyday, in the late 17th through the 18th centuries, it housed about eighty nuns. Since the nuns had servants and slaves of their own, as well as adopted girls who they raised, or sisters and nieces they might educate, the actual number of residents of the convent may have been as high as 240 women. Its most famous resident was the poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, who took her vows there in 1669, at the age of 20, and remained there until her death in 1695.
Here, he carefully defines forbidden decoration: cutwork, scalloped edges, and embroidery in silk and silver thread. Nuns did this kind of work all the time, and in fact, the Hieronymite nuns were obliged to sew daily by the rules of their order. They would make the vestments that priests would wear, the altar cloths used in the church, and the clothing for statues. But their skills of adornment were supposed to be used for others, not for themselves.