Choosing the Right Grommet

grommet assortment

Why Choose Grommets?

The small but mighty grommet is a piece of hardware used to reinforce holes in fabric. Grommets are attached to fabric with both precision and force, achieved by using a hole punch & hammer, or specialized tools and setting dies. Grommets are often sold in sets, paired with coinciding washers that "sandwich" your fabric, engaging with each other only upon hammer blow or extreme pressure.

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Common Grommet Questions

See below for answers to some common questions about grommets.

  • What Do Grommets Do?

      Grommets are rings used to protect holes in thin materials like fabrics, sheet metal, and carbon fiber. Grommets or eyelets are used so that wires, rope, or cords can be put through your material without tearing through or misshaping the hole. Grommets are necessary when hole reinforcement is needed to prevent fraying. You can find grommets made out of a variety of materials and in many different sizes with varying hole diameters.

  • How are Grommets Measured?

      To measure a grommet, you can use a caliper to get the dimensions and a pin gauge to accurately determine the diameter of the inside hole.

  • What's the Difference Between a Grommet and an Eyelet?

      Contrary to eyelets, grommets require a washer for proper installation and are typically used in heavy-duty applications, such as marine, awning, banners, industrial curtains, and commercial installations. Eyelets, on the other hand, do not require a washer for installation, are more delicate, and are used in lighter applications, such as clothing, bags, and footwear. You will find these two terms being used interchangably across industries - small grommets being referred to as eyelets - though the true difference boils down to installation technicalities.

  • What Types of Projects Use Grommets?

      Grommets have a wide range of applications for residential, commercial, and industrial use. You can typically find grommets on everything from lacing bands, shoes, curtains, and tarps to covers for boats and vehicles. How you use grommets will depend on the project.

  • How Do I Install Grommets?

      The basic process for attaching grommets to canvas is very simple. You can easily install multiple grommets within a few minutes with a hammer, measuring tape, grommet, washer, fabric, and a hole punch.

      To install grommets, you'll first measure where you would like the center of your grommet to be on your fabric. This way, you can space the grommets when making curtains and other canvas products. Mark the center with a pencil. Center the hole punch on the pencil marking and create the hole. Insert the tall part of your grommet to the underside of the fabric. Place the washer on the top side of the fabric. Pound using the hammer to fasten the washer, fabric, and grommet together.

      When installed correctly, high-quality grommets should last in the fabric for years.

  • How Do I Remove Grommets?

      To remove a grommet, you'll need a dead blow hammer and a flat head screwdriver. Placing the screwdriver at an angle on top of the beveled edge of the grommet, use the dead blow hammer to hit the end of the screwdriver and crimp the edge inward (toward the hole and away from the surrounding washer). Repeat around the edge of the grommet until you are able to pull the washer loose. You should then be able to remove the grommet from the hole on the bottom side of the fabric.

  • What's the best sign and banner fabric for reinforcing grommets?

      Dickson® Jet 550 is specially designed and coated to work well with grommets.

  • What grommets work with the FASNAP® PM5 machine?

  • What are the different benefits of metal grommets, rubber grommets, and plastic grommets?

Grommet Die Cross-Reference Chart

Click on each style/type of grommet below to find the Trivantage grommet item number and corresponding die item number.

Grommet Type Grommet Item #'s Die Item # (For Hand Tools)
#00 Grommet with Plain Washer
#0 Grommet with Plain Washer
#1 Grommet with Plain Washer
#2 Grommet with Plain Washer
#3 Grommet with Plain Washer
#4 Grommet with Plain Washer
#5 Grommet with Plain Washer
Grommet Type Grommet Item #'s Die Item # (For Hand Tools)
#1J Long Barrel Grommet with Plain Washer
#2J Long Barrel Grommet with Plain Washer
2JN Long Barrel Grommet with Neck Washer

Grommet Types

  • What Do Grommets Do?

    • plain grommet
      • Plain grommets are the standard “base model” that work best in general or lighter applications. They pair with plain, tooth, or neck washers.
  • Rolled rim grommets

    • rolled rim grommet
      • Rolled rim grommets offer a slightly thicker material for heavy-duty projects. The rolled lip engages with spur washers.
  • Self-piercing grommets

    • self piercing grommet
      • Self-piercing grommets eliminate an entire step from the installation process, saving time & money. No need to pre-punch fabric holes as these grommets feature a sharpened edge that cuts through the fabric while simultaneously being set into place. Not recommended for multiple layers of fabric or thick fabric.

Washer Types

  • Plain washers

    • plain washer
      • Plain washers work best in general or stationary uses.
  • Tooth washers

    • tooth washer
      • Tooth washers feature interlocking teeth that bite down for heavier duty projects. These also come in a small tooth form that pairs with self-piercing grommets.
  • Spur washers

    • spur washer
      • Spur washers offer more teeth than tooth washers for the most robust and secure option. They’re ideal for demanding conditions that experience movement (e.g., marine settings).
  • Neck washers

    • neck washer
      • Neck washers feature a longer flange and are used to reinforce holes in barrel-to-barrel settings. Recommended for thicker fabrics. Note that neck washers are designed for automatic machine use only (no hand tools).

Grommet Size Chart

Grommets and washers are assigned a standard sizing number from #00 to #4. Keep in mind, though, sizing is slightly different between plain/tooth and spur grommets/washers. Take care in selecting the properly sized tools for the types of grommet and washers you’re installing. What size grommet you need will depend on the project.

For example, a #0 Spur Washer has an approximate inner diameter (ID) of 5/16”, therefore, will pair with a #1 Hole Punch or Cutter (not a #0, which makes a 1/4” hole)

See grommet size chart below for corresponding sizes (in inches).

  • Plain Grommets

      Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter) Hole Size
      #00 0.175 0.425 3/16
      #0 0.248 0.545 1/4
      #1 0.287 0.682 9/32
      #2 0.362 0.815 3/8
      #3 0.433 0.970 7/16
      #4 0.488 1.050 1/2
  • Rolled Rim Grommets

      Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter) Hole Size
      #0 0.270 0.668 9/32
      #1 0.380 0.790 3/8
      #2 0.430 0.886 7/16
      #3 0.430 0.970 15/32
      #4 0.565 1.125 9/16
  • Plain Washers

      Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
      #0 0.291 0.547
      #1 0.355 0.697
      #2 0.460 0.838
      #3 0.528 0.955
      #4 0.590 1.107
  • Tooth Washers

      Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
      #2 0.468 0.840
      #3 0.545 0.945
      #4 0.603 1.053
  • Spur Washers

      Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
      #0 0.340 0.645
      #1 0.454 0.790
      #2 0.514 0.893
      #3 0.528 0.968
      #4 0.642 1.118
  • Neck Washers

      Size ID (inner diameter) OD (outer diameter)
      #00 0.220 0.425
      #0 0.294 0.531
      #1 0.355 0.705
      #2 0.429 0.840
      #3 0.475 0.945
      #4 0.540 1.047

Materials Grommets Come In

You’ll find grommets and washers in a few different materials, each containing its own benefits. The following are four of the most common choices.

  • Brass is a durable, moderately priced material that resists corrosion and can withstand high temperatures. Brass grommets are popular because they can live in just about any environment. Because the material is malleable, it’s easy to work with. Brass grommets with plain washers are a good standard choice.
  • Stainless steel is less malleable than brass but very strong, making it best for use in self-piercing grommets.
  • Aluminum is lightweight but durable and resistant to corrosion in most environments. Aluminum can rust if exposed to moist conditions, and since it's not as strong as brass or steel, it’s generally used for lighter, non-marine applications.
  • Nickel and black plated options offer different finishes with added abrasion resistance.

How to Use a Grommet Tool

grommet tools

There are several tools you can use to install a grommet. Using the right grommet tools help make the installation process go much smoother. We recommend pairing the following tools with your preferred grommet style and a distinct fabric for a professional result.

What is the best grommet tool? That will depend on your project. Below we'll describe the differences between the tools and explain how to use a grommet press and other grommet tools. You can apply the grommets by hand or with a grommet press tool.

  • Osborne Multi-Duty Hand Press

    This press uses dies and a lever to set grommets and fasteners. It is mounted to a bench.

  • DOT Snapmaster® Hand Press

    The M-380E press easily mounts to a wooden table or bench and is used to install a range of fasteners. It features an ergonomic handle and an adjustable lower die holder for greater flexibility and creativity.

  • Dead Blow Hammers and Rawhide Mallets

    Dead blow hammers and rawhide mallets are used in conjunction with grommet dies when installing by hand. The soft face minimizes impressions while delivering a powerful blow.

  • Urethane Cutting Pads

    Use a urethane cutting pad to protect your work bench or surface beneath the fabric.

  • Hole Cutters

    Use these cutters with a dead blow hammer or mallet to cut holes prior to installing your grommets.

  • Setting Dies

    Setting dies work with a hammer or a grommet press tool. The grommet fits in the die and is attached to the fabric once hammered or pressed into place.

  • Pres-N-Snap® Setting Tool

    The Pres-N-Snap tool works with different dies to install fasteners and grommets (works with #1 plain grommets only). It can be used as a hand tool, by simply squeezing the handles to press the grommets in place. It can also be mounted to a bench to reduce hand strain. See it in action here.

  • Home Grommet Kits

    Grommet kits are a convenient way to gather the necessary tools for small, home-based grommet projects. Each kit comes with a grommet die, cutting punch, grommets and washers, a cutting board, and instructions.


The purpose of this guide is to give fabricators some general guidelines and product information. Read all our Product Guides.

This guide should not be considered as the sole source of information on grommets. This guide is strictly informational.

Please reach out to your local customer care team for more guidance.

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