Eyelets are metal, plastic, or rubber rings that are inserted into a hole made through another material. Eyelets may be used to reinforce the hole or to shield something from the sharp edges of the hole. More specifically, eyelets are flanged metal rings used as reinforcement for a hole in fabric or paper. The first eyelet machine patented in the Unites States was by W. H. Rodgers on November 15, 1859. The eyelet machine was primarily used to bind papers before the invention of the stapler.
- Eyelets have a barrel section with a flange on the end.
- The barrel is inserted into a hole in the material and then the barrel is either rolled or spread out against the material, strengthening the hole.
- Setting eyelets can be done by hand or machine. To set eyelets by hand, a hole must be punched in the material and the eyelet will be inserted with the barrel pointing upward. The flange side of the eyelets should be on the top side. If a washer is being used for better strength and grip, it should be slid over the barrel.
- The eyelets setter tool is inserted at the end of the barrel and tapped with a hammer. Tapping continues until the barrel rolls over or spreads out flat onto the material.
Though they look and function almost similarly, eyelets are different from grommets. Grommets have a larger flange diameter compared to the hole of eyelets and they provide more strength. Eyelets are made of metal, such as aluminum, steel, or brass. Eyelets have a more attractive and finished appearance than grommets. Also, suppliers offer different sizes and designs according to customer needs. A new generation of eyelets has evolved beyond the classic brass or nickel-finished eyelets, which includes lighter weight aluminum craft eyelets that are easily set.
These increasingly popular craft products are available in a variety of colors and shapes. This new generation of eyelets is appropriate for any craft project that requires a practical application of eyelets, as well as simple decorative usage. Eyelets are used in industrial applications as well as apparel, such as hats, belts, shoes, and labels. Custom-made eyelets can be used with:
- industrial equipment
- automotive parts
- hand tools
- various other applications
Manufacturers and suppliers in the eyelet industry are competent and equipped with high-end machinery to produce eyelets to cater to the needs of prospective clients.