It doesn’t matter if you’re making curtains, a flag, or an awning, you’ll probably wonder whether you should use grommets or eyelets. Both tools stand in to uphold the structure of the fabric while keeping a hole open. They’re both useful bits of hardware, but there are times when one is preferable over the other.
A high-quality grommet is easy to install and technically combines two pieces to make one tool. Grommets are typically made from either brass or stainless steel; however, you can find a wide variety of other metal options. The purpose of using these two types of metals is because these metals will lock together by flaring and rolling during installation.
As soon as the grommet snaps into place, there’s little to no option to pull it apart without damaging the grommet. For the most secure grommet, choose a spur grommet with small teeth, which will grab hold of the fabric and then refuse to move.
The small metal rings that hold your shoelaces in place and the small plastic rings that hold the string in a hoodie in place are eyelets. There are a few key differences, but the size is not one of them. Eyelets typically are smaller than grommets, but they aren’t determined by size.
Instead, the process of installing an eyelet involves sewing a brass ring into place. Then the eyelet itself is locked into that ring with a die for the setting. This process demands a lot more effort than a grommet and doesn’t offer much more support for opening in the material.
So when should you use one over the other? Eyelets are most common in marine wares such as sails and boat awnings, but they’re primarily limited to canvas crafts. For nearly everything else, when it comes to flags, curtains, and heavy-duty materials outside of canvas, you should consider using a grommet. If the material is heavy or there will be a substantial weight on the grommets, choose a spur grommet. Not only are grommets easier to install, but they’re not so dependent on the skill of a hand-stitch of twine.
At GoldStar Tool, we carry a wide variety of grommets and eyelets for you to choose from. Be sure to check out all we have to offer!