I need to create a curved surface with solid 3d texturing (not optical shading/coloring, but actually physical bumpiness). Is that possible through Rhino or do I need to start this with another software tool/add-on and import to rhino? Basically, I need to replicate a woven texture on a hemispherical geometry, with the ability to parameterize the weave density/height/spacing
If you look for a resulting mesh then with a sufficiently good displacement map and good mesh settings you could probably get close to what you want.
Simple sphere with a 2D checker texture set to 3x3 repeat, in mesh section for the modifier high mesh setting.
Once done you could extract the render mesh for further use.