Banner Grommets - What Are They & Why They Are Needed?
Banners/03.27.2019

When you work in the printing industry, you know all about grommets and all of their uses. For someone that is just getting started in the banner world, you might not even know what the purpose of a grommet is. Grommets are a vital part of keeping your banners in top shape. In this article, we're going to cover questions like what is a grommet? What types of grommets are there? And also go over standard grommet sizes and discuss eyelets and grommets. You might wonder what the difference is? Are eyelets and grommets the same? You’ll find out soon.

What Are Grommets For Banners?metal grommets

Even though grommets are small, they play a big part of hanging a banner. Grommets are tiny metal rings that sometimes get confused with eyelets. We’ll cover eyelets vs grommets a little later in this article. Grommets are often used in vinyl banners, (and sometimes even in yard signs and other signage). You’ve probably also seen grommets used on heavy living room curtains, and shower curtains in hotels. Grommets have a specific purpose. Grommets are reinforcement for holes. So rope, a pole or something else can pass through it.

Grommets keep your banner looking good. If you were to use a hole punch on a vinyl banner then string the rope through it under windy conditions after a short amount of time the hole on your banner, would probably get ripped. Without reinforcements of the whole, there's nothing to keep the banner hole from getting torn. Banner grommets (which are often metal grommets in the printing industry) keep holes in material from ripping. Now you’ll never have to ask the question again, what is a grommet?

Buy Banners with Grommets

What Types of Grommets Are There?

There are a plethora of grommet types for custom banners. The most widely used banner grommets are metal (of varying types), plastic and sometimes even rubber. At Printmoz, the standard grommets for banners are made out of nickel coated brass. However, every kind of grommet has benefits and disadvantages but we believe nickel plated grommets are the all-around champion or vinyl banners. Metal grommets are considered very durable. Now we're going to discuss the pros and cons of grommet types.


Large Rubber Grommets (or small rubber grommets)rubber grommets

One of the things people like about rubber grommets is the fact that there are no sharp edges. Sharp edges on metal grommets can sometimes cut the material that runs through it, such as a rope. The rope could get frayed if a metal grommet gets damaged. But if you're running electrical wires through a grommet, large rubber grommets would be a great choice. However, if you have a vinyl banner nickel coated brass grommets or some other type of metal grommets these are good for banners.


Plastic Grommets

Just like rubber grommets, the main benefit is to stop sharp edges in their tracks. Plastic grommets can be entirely synthetic, or they could also be a metal grommet covered in the plastic coating. These will keep rope or twine from getting frayed if you have a damaged grommet.


Metal Grommetsmetal grommets

Metal grommets for banners whether they're made of brass or some other type of metal, have proven themselves to be very reliable.  Brass grommets coated in nickel are the most widely used. Metal grommets (ours are nickel plated brass) are an industry standard in today's world when it comes to having durable grommets.


What Are The Standard Grommet Sizes?

The most common grommets for banner sizes are 3/16 of an inch, 3/8 of an inch, one half of an inch, 1 inch, 7/16 of an inch, three, in the most widely used size being a grommet is 3/8 of an inch. Even though there are all these different sizes, 3/8 of an inch is a great all-purpose grommet size that can be used on a variety of materials.  Please note that grommet sizes listed are actually the size of the interior of the grommet. Unless you have a teeny tiny vinyl banner, a 3/8 of an inch banner grommet will generally not detract from the visuals of your banner.

The sizes listed above are the most common sizes. However, there are many more grommets to choose from. You can check out this handy grommet size chart below. It will show you available grommet sizes. You can see grommet sizes based on outside diameter, inside diameter, and depth all shown in millimeters.

grommet size chart


How To Install Grommets

If you order a sign from Printmoz, you won’t have to worry about installing grommets at all. But if you're wondering how it's done, we're going to give you all the details. There are a few different ways the grommets can be attached to any type of banner. There are  DIY methods of installing grommets which are used by smaller print shops and crafters in their homes. The second method is usually done by a professional printer, utilizing a grommet press, grommet tool, an automatic grommet press or a grommet machine otherwise known as an automatic hydraulic grommet press machine.

If you already have a banner that doesn't have grommets installed, you may want to add some of your own. You'll need to hit up the craft store, or you can also find the things you’ll need online. Grommet presses are available, and there are also grommet kits and tools. Or you can go caveman style and just use a hammer. This is not the most precise way of getting the best attachment of grommets for banners.


One Of The Methods of Installing Brass Grommets Is to Use A Hand Grommeter

It’s kind of like a handheld lemon squeezer. After you punch the hole in your banner,  you can then attach your grommet to the banner. Grommets come in two pieces. The larger piece will go on the front side of your banner while the smaller part goes on to the back. Once you have these in place, you can use your hand grommet to squeeze them together to get a smooth surface.


You Can Also Use A Hole Punch And Hammer (Yikes!)

This is the most primitive way to install a grommet, but it works in a pinch. So we recommend getting your grommets professionally installed or using a hand grommeter. These are often found in hardware stores, on Amazon, and craft shops.


Our Printing Experts At Printmoz Recommend Placing Banner Grommets Every Two Feet

This will ensure you have plenty of areas to attach ropes, zip ties, or even carabiners to hold your banner tight, so it doesn't sag. Banners with no wrinkles look the best! Now on to the more industrial way that grommets are installed.


A Grommet Press Can Do The Heavy Squeezing For Any Grommet Typeshand press grommets

At small printing companies, the most common way grommets for banners are installed is using a grommet press. You can check out the picture below to see what it looks like.  A grommet press is adequate for smaller printing jobs. Now onto bigger printing jobs!


How We Use A Grommet Machine

At mid to larger sized printing companies the most common way grommets for banner jobs are installed is by using an automatic grommet press. These automatic grommet machines need an operator to make them work properly. They can be used for large rubber grommets or brass grommets depending on the settings. We prefer metal grommets for signage.

hydraulic grometer

Grommet Placement On Banners [Best Practices]

At Printmoz installing grommets is easy. Grommets are attached at heat welded seams (for free of course!) on each corner. We use a grommet press machine that will install grommets on all corners and every two feet on more massive sized banners. During the printing process, our printing machines will indicate grommet placeholders using a high-tech laser that marks the appropriate place on the back of each banner. So your banners are perfectly positioned for optimum hanging purposes.


However, You Can Get Banner Grommets Placed Anywhere You Like

All you need to do is unselect the pre-determined grommet spacing and leave a comment when you place your order. Let us know where you want the banner grommets to be placed on your custom vinyl banner.

As a standard, metal grommets are placed on every corner centered at .75 in from each side. This will keep a nice symmetrical look on your banner. Using an automatic grommet machine is a high-tech professional way for your grommets to be installed easily with no work on your part. Now onto something different you might not have thought about. We’re going to talk about eyelets.


Eyelets Versus Grommets — The Debate Is On

There is a little confusion with many people in the difference between eyelets and grommets. The reason is that they're so similar. Many people don't think about the difference between the two unless they're in the sewing industry or the printing industry. Now we're going to focus on their similarities and differences.

An eyelet is a small piece of metal (almost exactly the same as a grommet), but it is used to reinforce a hole and fabric instead of on vinyl, Sintra board or coroplast. Eyelets are generally made of brass and often had a decorative edge also known as a flange.

The similarities between eyelets and grommets are that they both reinforce holes. Grommets are generally used on material that is more heavy-duty than regular fabric.  


How Do You Know If You Should Use An Eyelet or Grommet?

You need to think about a few things such as the type of fabric or material that is used. Also, take into consideration the size of the hole, and if the purpose of the hole is functional or decorative. If you are using a lightweight material and would like a decorative hole an eyelet is the right choice. But if you're getting a vinyl outdoor banner printed that is heavyweight, and the hole is for functional hanging purposes, a grommet is a smart choice.

To simplify, eyelets are usually used with ribbons, chords and small ropes such as in clothing like dresses and shirts. Grommets, on the other hand, are used for heavy canvas, sails, heavy curtains, vinyl banners, and plastic yard signs. Grommets can be used on fabric such as the curtains, so with heavy material, grommets are a good solution. Grommets are also utilized in ear surgical procedures and electrical work.  But we don't need to worry about that today.


Grommets And Our Custom Signage 

At Printmoz all Custom vinyl banners come with a grommet on all four corners (and every two feet for more massive banners) with no extra charge. But most other printing jobs like yard signs have a small fee since it's a special request. Most people who use yard signs use grass stakes, so it's not the norm. But we can put grommets on any type of material. If you do need special grommets, just let us know.

Also, remember we can also change the grommet location per your request. If you feel more comfortable having grommets placed every 12 in instead of every 24 we can do that! And please make sure to leave a note in the comments while you're checking out. However, generally, there aren't many problems with even giant signs that have grommets that are placed at every 24 in.

There are so many advantages to having grommets for banners installed. Grommets that are coated with nickel are weather resistant, so they don't rust. These types of grommets are excellent for outdoor use. Furthermore grommets we'll keep your banner looking great unless there are extenuating circumstances. Our grommets and vinyl banners are built to last. You can also check out how to hang your banner the right way.

When we attach banner grommets in the areas of the welded seam, it is solidly reinforced. So it doesn't matter if you're using zip ties, bungee cords, carabiners, washers, and screws or rope to hang your vinyl banner. There is a high likelihood that your banner will not rip or tear.

We hope this article has answered all of your questions like what are grommets for banners? What types of grommets are there? And you also now know the differences between eyelets and grommets and how they can be installed. If you have any questions, please contact our customer support. We are here for you!

4 Comments
  1. Thank alot for this helpful article - it's quite challenging to distinguish eyelets from grommets when you hardly ever work with them. This info was extremely helpful for my research project so thanks tonne! If possible, please write an additional article or section to cover the advantages and disadvantages of both of these fabric fasteners.

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    • If I had a banner, grommets would be needed. That way, the ropes holding it wouldn't tear at the vinyl. It would be good to find the right size from the chart you showed.

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      • That's good to know that grommets would help prevent ripping. I feel like that would be useful for a big banner. I'll have to make sure that I have some of those if I print a banner.

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        • That's good to know that those little metal rings are called grommets. I could see how those are important since they would prevent the banner from ripping through the hole and also make it a lot easier to thread the rope you are hanging it from. I'll have to make sure to ask about those if I decide to get a vinyl banner to hang for a work party.

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