You must have seen these huge brooches on the kilts and sashes
in Braveheart, Rob Roy and other Celtic movies.
These Celtic cloaking devices are the precursor to the safety pin;
quite ingenious technology for medieval period garb.
I was introduced to these pins
when I became associated with the Society for Creative Anachronisms.
The SCA holds gatherings both small and large,
each attempting to recreate an event
(whether a baronial birthday or an all out war)
with the most authentic gear possible.
This Society has developed a world wide movement of medievalist and renaissance period re-creators
will (at the drop of a hat) construct a Faire at the corner of a parking lot,
a duel in the commons or a Grand Ball in a local Grange.
Upon my first SCA Event,
I was requested to produce a Penannular not of the normal shape
but a piece that would fit into Medieval Scotland, and functional:
like the real ones! Hence, my first creation
was the Knot Work Penannular.
A free-form knot shaping the C part of the brooch
and the classic knotted spear for the pin head.
Following the first Penannular Brooch,
I then developed other themes that were not “period”:
grapes, sea horses, stars and more.
I wanted to introduce the Penannular to folks who only attend a renaissance fare one a year (if ever),
thus I created a video that demonstrates the use of these Brooches
now posted in my website.
There you will see the Brooch in action as it is placed on a Plaid!
Penannulars may be used to clasp capes, cloaks and scarves.
The pins I place on the larger versions are stout:
designed for the heavy, loose woven fabric like wool.
I also make lighter versions for finer cloth: like jackets.
I have specially made Brooches for leather as well.
The smallest Penannulars are for very light pieces and shirts, skirts and the like.
Whether they are simple or ornate,
Penannulars make a great way to tack a loose scarf
or cover an emergency missing button,
making it look like you did it on purpose!
As always, if you want something specially made for you,
I create everything in my site
and only too happy to create it for you.
Knotted Penannular Brooch for your cloak,
Other clasps and brooches my be seen at the
Brooch and Pin Page
created and developed
by Kirk McLaren
of Amulets by Merlin