Pens are made from a type of tall reed that grows locally.
The reeds are dried carefully before being shaped into pens by the scribes.
The diameter of the reed used and the length of pen made varies widely from scribe to scribe. The width of the pen nib is dictated by the size of writing required. Several pens will be prepared before starting to write.
Often a pen with a slightly wider nib will be used on the hair side of the parchment because the ink tends to spread more on the flesh side. The pen nib usually needs to be resharpened after about four sides of parchment have been written.