Eyelet Vs Grommet | What’s the Difference?

When it comes to adding a touch of style and functionality to curtains, garments, or home decor projects, eyelet and grommet are two popular choices. But what sets them apart? If you’re wondering about the key differences between eyelet and grommet, you’ve come to the right place as we will discuss eyelet vs grommet in detail. 

In this article, we unravel the unique characteristics of eyelet and grommet and explore their respective uses and benefits. Whether you’re looking for a delicate and decorative option or a sturdy and practical solution, understanding the distinctions between eyelet and grommet will help you make an informed choice. Get ready to discover the perfect finishing touch for your next project!

Salient Points

  • Eyelets are smaller, decorative metal rings primarily used for aesthetic purposes in sewing and crafting projects.
  • Grommets are larger, functional metal rings designed for reinforcement and protection in heavy-duty applications.
  • Eyelets require an eyelet setter tool for installation, while grommets need a grommet setter tool and additional equipment.
  • While eyelets enhance the appearance of garments and accessories, grommets provide durability and strength in industrial and outdoor settings.

What are Eyelets?

Eyelets are small, metal rings used in sewing and crafting. They serve both functional and decorative purposes. These small rings are typically made of metal, such as brass or nickel, and come in various sizes to suit different projects.

In sewing, eyelets are commonly used to reinforce holes in fabric. They prevent fraying and tearing around buttonholes, drawstring openings, or lace holes. By adding eyelets, the fabric becomes more durable and resistant to wear and tear. Additionally, they can add a stylish touch to garments and accessories.

To attach an eyelet, one needs an eyelet setter or eyelet punch. The setter is used to securely fix the eyelet in place, usually by hammering or pressing. This process creates a neat, finished look while ensuring the eyelet stays firmly in position.

In crafting, eyelets are often used in scrapbooking, card making, and leatherwork. They can be decorative elements or serve functional purposes, such as binding pages together in a scrapbook or adding embellishments to handmade cards.

Imagine you’re making a tote bag with a drawstring closure. Instead of leaving raw holes for the drawstring, you can reinforce them with eyelets. This not only makes the holes sturdier but also adds a professional finish to your project.

What are Grommets?

Grommets are small, circular metal or plastic rings that are used in sewing to reinforce holes in fabric. When fabric is cut to create a hole, such as for laces or drawstrings, the edges of the hole can become frayed or damaged over time with use. Grommets are inserted into these holes to prevent this damage and provide a clean and durable opening.

To install a grommet, a hole punch is used to create a precise opening in the fabric. The grommet consists of two parts: an eyelet and a washer. The eyelet is placed on the front side of the fabric, while the washer is placed on the back side. These two pieces are then pressed or hammered together to secure them in place, sandwiching the fabric between them. This creates a sturdy reinforcement around the hole, preventing it from tearing or stretching, even with repeated use.

Imagine you’re sewing a canvas tote bag and want to add handles. To ensure the handles stay securely attached without causing damage to the fabric, you can install grommets at the points where the handles will be attached. This will not only reinforce the holes but also add a stylish touch to the bag’s design.

Comparing Eyelet vs Grommet | Which to Choose

Eyelet Vs Grommet

When it comes to sewing and crafting, eyelets and grommets serve similar functions but have distinct differences in their design and usage.

DefinitionEyelets are small metal rings or grommets with a flange used to reinforce or decorate holes in fabric or leather.Grommets are larger metal rings with a solid base used to reinforce or protect holes in fabric, leather, or other materials.
SizeGenerally smaller in size, with diameters ranging from 3mm to 20mm.Typically larger, with diameters ranging from 6mm to 50mm or more.
StructureConsists of a metal ring with a flange that is pressed or hammered into the material.Comprises a metal ring with a solid base that is inserted into the material and secured with a washer or crimping tool.
FunctionPrimarily used for decorative purposes, such as in garments, curtains, or scrapbooking.Mainly employed for functional purposes, such as in tarps, banners, or tents, to reinforce or protect holes from tearing.
InstallationRequires a hand-held or machine-driven tool called an eyelet setter to secure the eyelet in place.Requires a grommet setter tool along with a mallet or press for proper installation.
ExamplesEyelets are commonly found in clothing items like shoes or corsets, providing both reinforcement and decoration.Grommets are frequently used in heavy-duty applications like sails, banners, or industrial curtains, where durability is paramount.

In summary, while eyelets are smaller, more decorative, and installed with specialized tools, grommets are larger, sturdier, and serve functional purposes in heavy-duty applications. Understanding the differences between these two components is crucial for selecting the right one for your sewing or crafting project.

Comparing Eyelet vs Grommet

Different Types of Eyelets

In sewing, eyelets are small rings used to reinforce holes in fabric, preventing fraying and providing a neat finish. There are various types of eyelets available, each with its own characteristics and suitable applications.

Aluminum EyeletsLightweight, rust-resistant, ideal for outdoor and marine applications.
Steel EyeletsDurable, strong, suitable for heavy-duty fabrics and industrial use.
Brass EyeletsCorrosion-resistant, decorative, often used in fashion and craft projects.

If you’re making a sail for a boat, aluminum eyelets would be a good choice due to their resistance to rust and lightweight properties. For heavy canvas tents, steel eyelets would offer the strength needed to withstand repeated use and rough handling. In contrast, for a stylish handbag, brass eyelets could add a decorative touch while also providing durability.

Different Types of Grommets

Grommets are essential sewing accessories used to reinforce and protect holes in fabrics. They come in various types, each serving specific purposes.

Type of GrommetDescriptionBest Use
Metal GrommetsMade of metal such as brass, nickel, or stainless steel, offering durability and strength.Ideal for heavy-duty fabrics and projects like canvas, denim, or leather.
Plastic GrommetsCrafted from plastic materials like nylon or polypropylene, lightweight and flexible.Suitable for lighter fabrics such as polyester or cotton, commonly used in garments or crafts.
Rubber GrommetsDesigned with rubber for flexibility and waterproofing, providing a snug fit.Perfect for applications requiring insulation or protection against moisture or vibration.
Snap GrommetsConsist of two parts that snap together, allowing for easy installation and removal.Popular in DIY projects and temporary fabric fixtures.
Self-piercing GrommetsDesigned to pierce fabric during installation, eliminating the need for pre-punching holes.Streamlines the grommet installation process.

When creating a sturdy tote bag, metal grommets would be the best choice for reinforcing the handle holes due to their durability and strength. On the other hand, for a lightweight summer dress, plastic grommets might be preferable to maintain the garment’s delicate feel.

How to Install Eyelets?

Eyelets are small metal rings used in sewing to reinforce holes in fabric, often for lacing or decoration. Installing eyelets properly ensures durability and a polished finish to your sewing project.

  1. Prepare Your Fabric:
    • Choose the location where you want to install the eyelet.
    • Mark the center of the desired location with a fabric marker or chalk.
  2. Make a Hole:
    • Place your fabric on a cutting mat or a hard surface to protect your work area.
    • Using a cutting tool like an awl or punch, carefully make a small hole at the marked spot. Ensure the hole is just big enough to accommodate the eyelet.
  3. Insert the Eyelet:
    • Insert the shank of the eyelet through the hole from the front side of the fabric.
    • Flip the fabric over so the wrong side is facing up.
  4. Set the Eyelet:
    • Position the fabric with the inserted eyelet on a sturdy surface.
    • Place the concave part of the eyelet setter or anvil over the shank of the eyelet.
  5. Secure the Eyelet:
    • With a hammer, gently strike the eyelet setter or anvil. Apply firm but controlled pressure.
    • Continue hammering until the eyelet is properly set and flush with the fabric surface.
  6. Check the Eyelet:
    • Inspect the eyelet to ensure it is firmly in place and there are no loose edges.
    • Test the eyelet by gently tugging on it to ensure it’s securely attached to the fabric.
  7. Repeat if Necessary:
    • If you’re installing multiple eyelets, repeat the process for each one, ensuring consistent placement and secure attachment.

By following these steps, you can confidently install eyelets in your sewing projects, adding both functionality and aesthetic appeal to your creations. Remember to practice patience and precision for the best results.

How to Install Grommets?

Installing grommets is essential in sewing projects, especially when creating items like curtains, tote bags, or clothing with drawstrings. Grommets reinforce buttonholes and provide a neat, durable opening for cords or laces.

  1. Prepare Fabric:
    • Lay your fabric flat on a stable surface.
    • Mark the spots where you want to install the grommets using a fabric marker.
  2. Cut Holes:
    • Use scissors or a hole punch to cut out the marked holes on the fabric.
    • Make sure the holes are the same size as the inner diameter of the grommets.
  3. Insert Grommets:
    • Place one half of the grommet through the hole from the front side of the fabric.
    • Position the fabric on the base of the grommet setter tool.
  4. Set Grommets:
    • Put the other half of the grommet on top of the first half, aligning them perfectly.
    • Position the setter tool over the grommet and fabric.
    • Firmly strike the top of the setter tool with a hammer several times until the grommet is securely in place.
    • Ensure both halves of the grommet are evenly pressed together.
  5. Repeat:
    • Continue this process for each grommet location on your project.
    • Ensure equal spacing between grommets for a neat appearance.
  6. Test:
    • After installing all grommets, test their durability by gently pulling on the fabric around them.
    • Make any necessary adjustments if grommets feel loose or insecure.

If you are wondering whether hand sewing is better or machine sewing, you can read our guide here. Moreover, you can also read whether or not you can use a regular sewing machine for embroidery here.

Pros and Cons of Eyelets


  • Add decorative finish to projects.
  • Provide extra reinforcement around holes.
  • Offer aesthetic appeal to garments and crafts.


  • Limited in heavy-duty applications.
  • May require additional tools for installation.
  • Not as durable as some other grommet types.

Pros and Cons of Grommets


  • Grommets reinforce fabric holes, preventing fraying and damage.
  • They come in various materials and styles to suit different fabrics and purposes.
  • Metal grommets, in particular, offer long-lasting strength, ideal for heavy-duty applications.
  • Some grommets, like snap and self-piercing types, are easy to install without specialized tools.
  • Certain grommets, such as eyelet types, add decorative elements to garments and crafts.


  • Quality grommets can be expensive, especially metal ones, adding to project expenses.
  • Traditional grommets may require tools like grommet setters, complicating the installation process.
  • While versatile, grommets may not be suitable for all fabric types or project requirements.
  • Improper installation or use can lead to fabric tears or grommet breakage.
  • Some grommets may not offer the desired decorative effect, impacting the overall look of the project.

Applications of Eyelets

Here are some key applications of eyelets:

ClothingEyelets are frequently used in clothing, particularly in garments like corsets, shoes, and lace-up tops. They provide strength and durability to areas with strain.
Curtains and DrapesEyelets are used along the top edges of curtains and drapes to create pleats and facilitate hanging. They also add a decorative element to window treatments.
Crafts and ScrapbookingIn craft projects and scrapbooking, eyelets serve as ornamental accents. They can be used to secure ribbons, tags, or embellishments to various surfaces.
LeatherworkingEyelets are commonly used in leatherworking for creating laced closures in items like shoes, bags, and belts. They reinforce the holes through which laces pass.
Banners and SignsEyelets are employed in the corners of banners and signs to facilitate hanging. They ensure that the material remains taut and secure when displayed outdoors.

These applications demonstrate the versatility and utility of eyelets in a range of sewing and crafting projects, enhancing both functionality and aesthetics.

Applications of Grommets

Here are some common applications of grommets:

Tarps and CoversGrommets are frequently used in tarps, covers, and awnings to create attachment points for ropes or cords. They reinforce the material and prevent tearing at stress points.
Curtains and DrapesSimilar to eyelets, grommets are utilized in curtains and drapes to create holes for rods to pass through, allowing for smooth opening and closing of window treatments.
Marine and Outdoor GearIn marine applications, grommets are essential for securing boat covers, sails, and canvas equipment. They withstand exposure to moisture and harsh weather conditions.
Automotive UpholsteryGrommets are used in automotive upholstery for securing headliners, seat covers, and carpeting. They provide structural support and prevent fabric fraying around attachments.
Industrial ApplicationsGrommets find use in various industrial settings, such as in manufacturing and construction, for reinforcing tarpaulins, signage, and protective covers.

These applications highlight the practical importance of grommets in reinforcing fabrics and materials, facilitating attachment points, and enhancing the durability of various products across different industries.

How to Take Care of Your Sewing Accessories?

Here are some important tips to ensure your sewing accessories remain in top condition:

  • Keep Needles Sharp: Replace dull needles regularly to prevent fabric damage and ensure smooth stitching. A dull needle can cause snags and uneven stitches.
  • Clean Your Tools: Regularly clean your sewing machine, scissors, and other tools to remove lint, dust, and fabric residues. This prevents buildup that can affect performance.
  • Store Properly: Keep sewing accessories in a dry, clean area away from direct sunlight and moisture to prevent rust and deterioration. Use storage containers or organizers to keep items organized and easily accessible.
  • Oil Moving Parts: Lubricate moving parts of your sewing machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure smooth operation and prolong its lifespan.
  • Protect Rotary Cutters: Always retract the blade and store rotary cutters in a protective case when not in use to prevent accidents and maintain blade sharpness.
  • Replace Blades Regularly: Change rotary cutter blades when they become dull to maintain clean cuts and prevent fabric fraying. Dull blades can cause jagged edges and uneven cuts.
  • Check Tension Settings: Periodically check and adjust the tension settings on your sewing machine to ensure proper stitching and prevent thread breakage or puckering.
  • Use Quality Thread: Invest in high-quality thread to reduce breakage and prevent lint buildup in your sewing machine. Low-quality thread can cause tension issues and affect the overall quality of your stitches.
  • Keep Pins and Needles Organized: Use a pin cushion or a magnetic holder to keep pins and needles organized and easily accessible while sewing. This prevents them from getting lost or misplaced.
  • Inspect Regularly: Inspect your sewing accessories regularly for signs of wear or damage. Replace any worn-out or damaged items promptly to prevent accidents and ensure optimal performance.

By following these simple tips, you can maintain and extend the life of your sewing accessories, ensuring enjoyable and hassle-free sewing experiences.


In conclusion of eyelet vs grommet, we discussed that both eyelets and grommets offer distinct advantages and serve different purposes, making them versatile options for various projects. Eyelets bring a delicate and decorative touch, perfect for enhancing the aesthetics of clothing, curtains, and crafts. On the other hand, grommets excel in providing durability and functionality, ideal for heavy-duty applications like tarps and banners. 

Understanding the differences between eyelet and grommet allows you to choose the right option that aligns with your project’s specific needs. So whether you’re aiming for elegance or durability, incorporating eyelets or grommets will undoubtedly elevate the overall look and functionality of your creations. Embrace the endless possibilities and add that perfect finishing touch with eyelet or grommet!


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common sizes of eyelets and grommets?

Choosing the right size of eyelets and grommets can be daunting. With so many types of materials, how do you pick? Knowing your project’s needs is key. From metal to plastic, there are numerous sizes available to give your project a sense of belonging. Embrace the challenge and find which size works best!

Are eyelets and grommets weather-resistant?

Yes! Eyelets and grommets are weather-resistant when installed correctly using waterproofing materials. Choose the right installation methods for a durable, long-lasting solution that will make you feel like part of the crowd.

Is there any difference in the longevity of eyelets and grommets?

Comparing installation techniques and appearance, there is a difference in longevity for eyelets and grommets. Consider which suits your needs best to get the most out of them!

Are there any special tools required for installing eyelets and grommets?

Installing eyelets and grommets can be a breeze! With just a few tools, like pliers and an eyelet setting tool, you can quickly and easily add a touch of flair to your fabric. So don’t hesitate – get creative, and show off your work with these simple yet stylish additions!

Are there any safety concerns related to using eyelets and grommets?

When installing eyelets and grommets, it’s important to consider both material and installation safety. Make sure you use the right tools for the job, wear protective clothing and take all necessary precautions to ensure a safe experience.

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