AskDefine | Define eyelet

Dictionary Definition



1 a small hole (usually round and finished around the edges) in cloth or leather for the passage of a cord
2 fastener consisting of a metal ring for lining a small hole to permit the attachment of cords or lines [syn: cringle, loop, grommet, grummet]

User Contributed Dictionary



From eye + -let.



  1. An object that consists of a rim and small hole or perforation to receive a cord or fastener, as in garments, sails, etc. An eyelet may reinforce a hole.
    Push the aglet of the shoelace through each of the eyelets, one at a time.
  2. A shaped metal embellisment containing a hole, used in scrapbook. Eyelets are typically set by punching a hole in the page, placing the smooth side of the eyelet on a table, positioning the paper over protruding edge and curling the edge down using a hammer and eyelet setter.


A small hole to receive a cord or fastener

Extensive Definition

Grommets and eyelets are metal, plastic, or rubber rings that are inserted into a hole made through another material. They may be used to reinforce the hole, to shield something from the sharp edges of the hole, or both.

Grommets as reinforcement or crafting

Grommets are used to reinforce holes in leather, clothing, shoes, and other fabrics. They can be made of metal or plastic, and are easily used in common projects, requiring only the grommet itself, a grommet-setting tool (a metal rod with a convex tip usually sold with the grommets), and a hammer. Higher end grommet presses (as shown in the picture) exist as well, though generally a hammer and the grommet-setting tool is equally effective for small projects. Their most common usage is to strengthen the holes for bootlacing but they are also good for making corsets and other laced clothing, plus curtains and other household items that require hanging from hooks. The grommet prevents the cord from tearing through the hole, thereby providing structural integrity. Small grommets are also called eyelets, especially when used in clothing or crafting. When using eyelets for crafting, they are generally used decoratively.

Grommets used as shielding

If metal or another hard material has a hole made in it, the hole may have sharp edges. Electrical wires, cord, rope, lacings, or other soft vulnerable material passing through the hole can become abraded or cut, resulting in damage. Rubber, plastic or plastic coated metal grommets are each used to avoid this. The smooth and sometimes soft inner surface of the grommet shields the wire from damage.
Grommets are generally used whenever wires pass through punched sheet metal for this reason. Molded and continuous strip grommets are manufactured in a wide variety of sizes and lengths expressly for this purpose; they are usually a single piece which can be inserted by hand. Two-piece hard plastic devices are available which also grip the wire that passes through. This is called strain relief and is often used on power supply cords that attach to a piece of equipment, to prevent a tug on the wire from stressing the electrical connections inside the equipment. Sometimes field workers may refer to grommets as grunyons.

Surgical grommets

In chronic cases of Otitis media with effusions present for months, surgery is sometimes performed to insert a grommet, called a "tympanostomy tube" into the eardrum to allow air to pass through into the middle ear, and thus release any pressure buildup and help clear excess fluid within. This is also a correcting measure for a patulous Eustachian tube (when air moves to and from the middle ear with each breath making the eardrum flap).
eyelet in German: Grommet
eyelet in Swedish: Öljett

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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