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03-10-2018 03:57:42  #1

Olivetti ribbon eyelets

Hi everyone,

appearently my Olivetti Lettera 32 does not automatically reverse the ribbon, but needs little devices called "eyelets" that need to be attached to the ribbon near its ends. Now I'm no English native speaker (German) and don't know what to make of the word. Does somebody have a picture for me what this actually is? The old ribbon that was installed in the Lettera 32 did not have anything special attached to it. My other machines are all automatic reversers (Olympia SG1 and SM9), so I don't have something to compare it with.

Since it's probably difficult to find these "eyelets" today, what replacements can you suggest?


03-10-2018 05:02:14  #2

Re: Olivetti ribbon eyelets

The eyelets are a little brass or aluminium ring. The small ones are a little bit smaller than your fingernail of your little finger. They are usually available from haberdashers or stores that sell sewing/dressmaking equipment (threads, fabrics, etc) and you can buy a small kit that comes with a short steel rod. This rod is placed over the two-piece eyelet and then a few sharp taps with a hammer and you will have an eyelet.
You basically take the typewriter ribbon, cut a small hole in the centre of it, push one piece of the eyelet (usually, it's the longer section that looks like a top hat) through it and attache the other part, which looks like a ring, on top of it. Tap it with a hammer and the top-hat piece flattens and secures to the ring and bingo!, you have an eyelet on the end of the typewriter ribbon.
None of this makes any sense now that I read it, but once you get a packet of eyelets, it will be a lot clearer.

This video shows the basic principle behind what I just said. This is for tents. For typewriter ribbons, everything is much smaller, obviously. Forget the large hole cutter that's used in the video. For typewriter ribbons, you just have to make a cut that's large enough to fit the long eyelet piece through, rather than cutting a perfect circle through the ribbon.

Best of luck, but it's easy once you practice a few of them.


My blog, about typewriters,wristwatches, fountain pens, Bond, and whatever else happens to be polluting my mind at any given time;

03-10-2018 21:35:51  #3

Re: Olivetti ribbon eyelets

Hi Sirus

If you wear lace up shoes or runners, the lace passes through small metal rings in the leather or fabric, these are eyelets. The normal eyelet size for shoes is 6.0 mm to 7.0 mm. The normal size for typewriter ribbon eyelets is 3.0 mm to 4.0 mm. Take a look at this eBay item to get an idea of what you are looking for. All the best,



05-10-2018 12:17:21  #4

Re: Olivetti ribbon eyelets

Eyelets should be placed about six inches from each end of the ribbon. Some say you can tie a big knot in the ribbon at that point and it will work. I have not tried that. I always buy my generic ribbons with the eyelet, and then cut it off if the machine doesn't use it.

Bangin' around, this dirty old town, typin' for nickels and dimes...

05-10-2018 14:58:39  #5

Re: Olivetti ribbon eyelets

Thank you all very much for this information! I know now what to look for and I think I know where to get these. Thank you again!

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