Some rubber grommets.

A grommet is a ring inserted into a hole through thin material, such as fabric. Grommets are generally flared or collared on each side to keep them in place, and are often made of metal, plastic, or rubber. They may be used to prevent tearing or abrasion of the pierced material, to cover sharp edges of the piercing, or both. A small grommet may also be called an eyelet, used on shoes for lacing purposes.


Grommets as reinforcement or crafting

Metal eyelets (or grommets) and eyelet setting tool.

Grommets are used to reinforce holes in leather, clothing, shoes, flags 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. Common uses include strengthening holes for boot and shoe laces, corsets and other laced clothing, as well as 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. When used in sailing and various other applications they are called cringles.

Grommets used for cable protection

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, or electrical insulation may break due to repeated flexing at the exit point. 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 or plastic casings for this reason. Molded and continuous strip grommets, also known as edge 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. Sleeved grommets have a flexible extension (sleeve), usually tapered or moulded to flex increasingly towards the free end in order to prevent fracture of electrical insulation. Sometimes field workers may refer to grommets as grunyons.

Grommets used as wire managers for furniture

A grommet can be used in furniture to protect wires, cables or cords for computer equipment or other electronic equipment in homes or offices. They are also used decoratively and can be bought in a large variety of sizes, colors and finishes.

The grommets usually consist of two pieces: A liner that goes into the hole of the furniture and a cap with a hole (often adjustable in size) for the cables to go through.

Surgical uses

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).

See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grommet — Grom met, n. [F. gourmette curb, curb chain, fr. gourmer to curb, thump, beat; cf. Armor. gromm a curb, gromma to curb.] 1. A ring formed by twisting on itself a single strand of an unlaid rope; also, a metallic eyelet in or for a sail or a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • grommet — 1620s, ring or wreath of rope, from obsolete Fr. gromette curb of a bridle (Mod.Fr. gourmette), from gourmer to curb, of uncertain origin. Extended sense of metal eyelet first recorded 1769 …   Etymology dictionary

  • grommet — ► NOUN 1) a protective eyelet in a hole that a rope or cable passes through. 2) a tube surgically implanted in the eardrum to drain fluid from the middle ear. ORIGIN originally in sense «circle of rope used as a fastening»: from obsolete French… …   English terms dictionary

  • grommet — [gräm′it] n. [< obs. Fr gromette (now gourmette), curb chain, bridle < gourmer, to curb, prob. < VL * grumus, throat] 1. a ring of rope or metal used to fasten the edge of a sail to its stay, hold an oar in place, etc. 2. an eyelet, as… …   English World dictionary

  • Grommet — einige Grommets Als Grommet (vom französischen gromette, Kandare am Zaumzeug) bezeichnet man einen Ring oder eine Tülle, die man durch Löcher in Materialien steckt, um diese beispielsweise zu verstärken, zu schützen oder abzudichten. Meist sind… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • grommet — UK [ˈɡrɒmɪt] / US [ˈɡrɑmət] noun [countable] Word forms grommet : singular grommet plural grommets 1) a metal or plastic ring that surrounds a hole in cloth to prevent it from tearing 2) British a small tube that is put into a child s ear to… …   English dictionary

  • grommet — /grom it/, n. 1. Mach. a. any of various rings or eyelets of metal or the like. b. an insulated washer of rubber or plastic, inserted in a hole in a metal part to prevent grounding of a wire passing through the hole. 2. Naut. a. a ring or strop… …   Universalium

  • grommet — noun /ˈɡɹɒm.ɪt,ˈɡɹʌm.ɪt,ˈɡɹɑ.mɪt/ a) A reinforced eyelet, or a small metal or plastic ring used to reinforce an eyelet. What do you over the pond skaterboarders say? Is there a global term to be used to label someone as a skateboarder? Does it… …   Wiktionary

  • grommet — grom•met [[t]ˈgrɒm ɪt, ˈgrʌm [/t]] also grummet n. v. met•ed, met•ing. n. 1) mac navig. any of various rings or washers, esp. one used as an insulator or gasket or as an eyelet protecting material where a rope passes 2) navig. a ring of rope or… …   From formal English to slang

  • grommet — n. (also grummet) 1 a metal, plastic, or rubber eyelet placed in a hole to protect or insulate a rope or cable etc. passed through it. 2 a tube passed through the eardrum in surgery to make a communication with the middle ear. Etymology: obs. F… …   Useful english dictionary

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