Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Eyelet and Grommet

eyeletEyelet vs Grommet

Most people don’t really stop to think about the difference between an eyelet and a grommet, unless they are engaging in sewing, or manufacturing of some type. This article is going to focus on the differences between eyelets and grommets.


An eyelet is a small piece of metal that is used to reinforce a hole in a piece of fabric; usually made of brass. Generally, because the eyelet has a more attractive flange, it is typically used as functional decorations on garments. One side of the eyelet has a barrel that is inserted through the gap in the material; the other side has the flange that extends into the barrel. The device is then set by a tool to flatten the pieces, which allow the barrel to spread out, and reinforce the hole.

Grommets are very similar to eyelets, because they are used to reinforce a hole as well; however, grommets are typically used for more heavy duty material than eyelets. They may also be used to protect an apparatus from the sharp edges of the hole, to prevent damage to the gadget.

Selection of eyelets or grommets

So what determines whether an eyelet or a grommet is to be used in the project? There are several things that need to be considered, such as:

  •  The type and thickness of the fabric or material being utilized.
  •  The dimension of the hole.
  •  The visibility of the area, if it is decorative or functional.

Generally, if the material is smaller and more lightweight, an eyelet is used; particularly if it is used as a decoration.

If the material is heavier, expected to be more durable or robust, a grommet is recommended.


Eyelets typically have cords, ribbons, or other fabrics that are drawn through the perforation to reinforce the connection, or ties, to another piece of fabric. These are used frequently in dresses, to pass ribbons through it, for decorations on the garment, or in hats, belts, or shoes.

Grommets are typically used for heavier fabrics such as sails, tents, tarps, or flags; but are also used in bootlaces, and corsets in the clothing industry. Grommets are also found on drapes and curtains, and heavier fabrics that are used to hold rings that slip through a metal rod. Grommets are also used in the manufacturing of various products, such as electrical wires that must pass through a sheet of wood or metal, to protect them from being scraped and damaged. Grommets may also be used as a surgical remedy for otitis media, or inflammation of the ear drum.

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  1. It is my understanding that an eyelet is a single piece flange and tube and the end of the tube is peened over to attach it. A grommet is a two part item as described in this article. Therefore, the major difference between a grommet and an eyelet is not in the weight of the material, but in whether the hole needs to be “finished” on both sides. Grommets have a finished flange on both sides. Eyelets have a finished flange on one side only.

  2. Thanks good to know!!

  3. What is best for the holes on my trainers where the laces go? Gromets or eyelets?

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