eyelet vs Grommet: Differences and Similarities

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It’s easy to confused eyelets and grommets. They look very similar, and they are used for the same reasons. Deciding which one you should use on your next project can be challenging. 

Don’t worry. I’m here to help. 

In this post, I’m going to review everything you need to know about eyelets and grommets. 

By the end of this article, you’ll know their differences, similarities, and when to use them. 

Let’s get started. 

What Is An Eyelet?

An eyelet is a circular piece of metal punched through fabric to create a barrier around fabric holes. To apply an eyelet, you typically need to use an eyelet press. There are both manual and electronic eyelet presses that you can use.

Eyelets are unique because they are one piece of metal pressed and folded to stay on the fabric.

They are used in similar ways as a button. A commonplace you will see eyelets are the strings entrance holes on your hoodies or the holes for your shoelaces on a pair of shoes.

What Is a Grommet?

A grommet is very similar to an eyelet and typically has the same uses as an eyelet. Grommets come in two pieces, one is the buttonhole and the other is the washer that seals the hole in place.

They are used in a similar fashion as eyelets. They are placed in the fabric to allow other material or objects to be inserted or pulled through.

Eyelet vs Grommet: Similarities and Differences

The key similarity between eyelets and grommets is that they are used for the same reason. They are placed on the fabric for protection. This protection allows other materials or objects to be inserted into the fabric without damaging the fabric.

The key difference between eyelets and grommets is how they are inserted. The first major difference is that eyelets are a single piece of metal, and grommets are two metal pieces.

Each requires a different press to attach to the fabric but can be done manually or electronically depending on your tool options.

Other key differences between grommets and eyelets are that the grommets come in more color options and more sizing options.

The first thing about these two is they both support the holes on your garment. They prevent them from ripping way too far because of frequent wear.

Although they might serve the same purpose, they function differently.

Are Grommets Permanent?

Grommets are permanent, but they do wear down. They can get knocked out of placed or removed after wear and tear.

Even with wear and tear, it can take years or severe damage to cause them to fall off. They are more likely to fall off if you rip or destroy the fabric that is near the grommet.

If you care for your grommets, they are relatively permanent.

The durability of your grommets will also depend on the material you are using. If you use more durable materials such as metal or copper, they will last longer than a rubber or plastic grommet.

Likewise, for outside gear or rain jackets, using brass or steel grommets add a layer of protection against rust and the elements.

Are Eyelets Permanent?

Eyelets, just like grommets, are relatively permanent. Eyelets are less durable and easier to remove than grommets. With that said, eyelets will not fall over very quickly. It would take years of wear and tear or deliberate efforts to remove them. 

It’s important to note that to make eyelets permanent, they must be attached properly. If they are not attached properly, they could fall off or get caught on an object and be ripped off. 

Why Do Grommets and Eyelets Fall out?

The most common reason that eyelets and grommets fall off is when they are not attached correctly. Eyelets and grommets that are not attached correctly are likely to fall off.

This means that they are not securely on the fabrics. If the grommets or eyelets get caught on anything it’s easy for them to fall off.

Another reason they may fall off is due to wear and tear or damage. For example, if you accidentally splash or bend the grommet this will make it more likely to fall off.

How To Attach Eyelet and Grommets to Fabric?

There are several different ways you can attach eyelets to the fabric. The option you chose will depend on your budget, how often you apply eyelets, and the tools you have.

1. Eyelet Press

The easiest and most traditional way of attaching eyelets is using an eyelet press. This is a great option if you need t to apply eyelets often. While it may cost more than the other options, it will save you plenty of time in the long run.

2. Piston Pliers

If you do a lot of craft projects you may have a pair of piston pliers. This will allow you easily use an item you have around the house to make attaching eyelets easier. If you don’t have piston pliers I wouldn’t go out of your way to buy a pair. I recommend purchasing the next tool on the list.

3. Eyelet Pliers

Eyelet pliers are pliers built just for attaching eyelets. This is the easiest handheld option to apply eyelets. It’s lightweight and easy to carry, which makes it easy to carry in your sewing bag. Also, it’s easy to use and relatively fast, so it will make you more efficient.

4. Hammer

Using a hammer is an easy and cost-effective way to apply eyelets. You will need a hole puncher and mandrel so add the eyelets to the fabric. The hole-puncher will allow you to create a perfect size hole for your eyelet. The mandrel will help you attach the eyelet onto the fabric.

You can typically buy eyelet attachment kits that include the same hole cutter and mandrel sizes as eyelets.

Although it’s a bit more manual than other options it’s s great option if you only need to add a few eyelets and won’t need to add any more.

Where To Buy Grommets and Eyelets?

Grommets and eyelets are fairly easy to purchase. At most department stores and crafts stores, you can find a variety of eyelet and grommet sizes. 

If you are looking for specific sizes that are not offered in stores there are many options to purchase them online. 

You can also purchase grommets and eyelets on Amazon if crafts and other department stores are not easily accessible where you live. 

How Do Eyelets and Grommets Work?

Eyelets are useful when you’re dealing with a lightweight project. It’s best for reinforcing holes that don’t have much strain.

Think about when you need to pass through a ribbon on a hat or a skirt. Eyelets make sure that the exit holes don’t widen out.

The brass eyelets also add flavor to your garments. You can also use this if you want to insert ties on a string bag.

If you have adjustable gathering waistbands or tote bags, it can also work as reinforcement. Some laced shoes use this accessory too.

Eyelets are also a popular choice in scrapbooking. You may be familiar with decorative flower eyelets, which have a petal-like flange.

Since it’s intended for gentle use, you’ll notice that it might come in smaller circles than Grommets.

what Sizes Do Eyelets and Grommets Come In?

grommetn and eyelets sizes

The sizes of eyelets and grommets are standardized but finding they will vary on where you are purchasing them. Buying them from department stores or sewing stores typically gives you fewer options. Most online stores will offer a larger variety of sizing options. 

Sizing options for grommets and eyelets start at #00 and can go up to as high as 12. Smaller numbers represent smaller diameters. 

The size of shoelace grommets is typically between #000 and #2. 

Below is a table of the different sizing options for grommets and eyelets. 

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