When they travel on foot, the Plad is tied on the Breast with a Bodkin of Bone or Wood (just as the Spina wore by the Germans, according to the Descripction of C. Tacitus:) the Plad is tied round the middle with a Leather Belt; it is pleated from the Belt to the Knee very nicely: this Dress for Footmen is found much easier and lighter than Breeches, or Trowis.
Knives were used to shape the pins and a good pin would have a smooth surface. Most of the pins were polished.
The pins heads vary from very plain and basic to elaborately designed and finished. The heads could have splayed, globular, cylindrical or nail-heads to prevent the pin running through the cloth. The shanks are both flat and round, straight and tapered, with a number of the tips missing. The points of the well-used pins are rounded while the less-used are still quite sharp. Often the very elaborate pins would be kept as keepsakes.
Ritchie, Anna ‘Clothing Among the Picts’, Costume , 39, 2005, pp.28-42.
Martin, Martin A Description of the Western Isles of Scotland (London: A. Bell, 1703), pp. 208.
Images copyright Carsten Flieger