Re: How authentic?
> (Several additional works as well, but IMHO, these are some of theLet em state, for clarity's sake that Grommets are indeed very period.
> clearer pictures of the lacing rings, and the fact that they are not
> "like" grommets at all!) ;)
-- Just not the metal pressed ones we see in todays hardware and
A period grommet (usually called an "Eyelet" or "Eylot" - The
term "Grommet" technically referred to the RING of cordage used to
reinforce the eyelet) is pierced trough the fabric like a modern
grommet, but it was more of a reinforced buttonhole, a round ring of
metal or cordage which was placed on the fabric over a hole, with a
buttonhole or whip stitch to hold it in place.
The use of such stitches is well known in making Eyelets for
attaching bonnets (removable strips of sail cloth used to increase
sail area in low wind) and for making clews (clews are tie points at
the corners of sails where the control lines attached). Often at the
clews there is the additional reinforcement of leather sewn over the
corner, and the eyelet hole pierced that as well. Doubling the fabric
was certainly done as well.
FWIW, it does not require a metal ring to hold its shape, usually
this was achieved by the buttonhole stitch, the ring of cordage or
metal served only to distribute the stress from the lacing over a
wider area preventing tearout.
I do not know of uses in clothing firsthand, others here may indeed,
but I do know that this reinforced eyelet was widely used in sails,
and also in tentage. Additionally there were flaps and tabs of
leather sewn to tents and tarps whch may be pierced or doubled to
make a tie point, but these were not generally seen in sails.
A known period term for a junior seaman who is no longer a "younker"
is "grommet", perhaps because one to the common tests of skill at
splicing a rope is to make up rope rings of various sizes, which
ideally should be perfectly round, and you should be unable to tell
where the splice is placed without very close inspection.
Sorry but this is one of my special areas of research.