Eyelet fabric is a pretty, versatile and yet durable lace fabric type with a long history. Its beauty and toughness make it popular in both clothing and home decor, from curtains to wedding gowns. Eyelet fabrics are sold in in a wide range of colors, textures and materials due to their long-term popularity.
Eyelet fabric is a type of lace made by creating holes in a fabric medium. Each hole is edged using a buttonhole stitch. The holes are precisely sized and situated to create a pattern or patterns, often floral designs or abstract geometric arrangements. Eyelet fabric is beautifully elegant and yet more durable than most other types of lace.
Eyelet fabrics are traditionally made of cotton in white or ivory, imparting a light and lacy feel to fashion. These days, eyelet fabrics are available in everything from heavy wool and polyester to silk and satin. The current range of available colors and materials makes eyelet design a truly versatile way to bring a unifying element to your wardrobe or home decor.
Eyelet patterns can vary widely, but all are based on careful arrangements of sized and spaced holes to create a visual pattern. Eyelets can be interspersed with embroidered elements to increase design options. Some eyelet fabrics are more hole than fabric, with either big bold designs created by the use of large holes, or delicate lacy designs created using a plethora of small, neat holes. Other eyelet fabrics let the fabric color, weight and style do the talking, with only a few eyelet elements here and there for accent.
When planning your uses of eyelet fabric, take the fabric's durability into account. The durability of an eyelet fabric will depend on the size and number of holes in the fabric medium. Many, larger holes can create a light, airy fabric with the feel of true lace, but these fabrics should be used with care, out of high-traffic areas in the home, and in "dressy" clothing items that won't see hard wear. More durable fabrics with fewer, smaller holes can be used in busy areas and in more casual clothing items that will be worn on a regular basis.
Ellie Maclin is freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She contributes to online and print publications, specializing in topics such as historical places, archaeology and sustainable living. Maclin holds an M.S. in archaeological resource management from the University of Georgia, as well as a B.A. with honors in anthropology from the University of North Carolina.