Sewing leather is kind of hard but yet interesting. Leather has always been an interesting material. It can be very expensive, especially if we’re talking about real leather. However, can you think of a more exclusive jacket than the leather one?
That’s why; if we want to sew leather we’ll have to find the best machine for sewing leather.
Why is this so important? Well, here’s the deal. There is a difference between the real leather and the faux one. They will act differently and ask for some different machine features. We need to know which leather sewing machine can fit both (to save money and time). Also, you’ll need to know a couple of tricks to sew with leather.
So, when we summarize, what’s the bottom line? You need good skills, a couple of tricks and a good sewing machine for leatherwork and you’re in business!
Here are some of the machines we tested that separated from the rest, one way or another. By this, I refer to good quality and a decent price. As you guys already know if you follow my work, I perform different tests on each machine. Some of you may think this is crazy but I can’t recommend something without even trying it!
Here you’ll find some of the best sewing machines for leather. Hope they’ll fit your needs!
Editor’s Pick: Sewing Machine For Leather
Best 6 Sewing Machine for Leather Reviews
1. Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
The first thing you’ll need to sew leather is a heavy-duty sewing machine. We all know Janome is kind of an expert in the field of sewing machines so we immediately decided to get it.
This Janome HD3000 model attracted us not only by its name (we need a machine, not a brand) but with a variety of possibilities and features. For example, I was curious to find a sewing machine that will combine regular sewing and leather sewing. This means I needed needles for both types. And I’ve found them here.
The jam-proof in this machine, as I noticed, is great. You might be wondering what does this mean. Well, it means you don’t have to worry about running off the edge of your project.
It almost became redundant to ask whether a sewing machine has an automatic needle threader but since there are still machines that don’t have it, it won’t harm to specify it.
What I was particularly interested in was feet. Just to check what I can do with this Janome sewing machine. I was attracted by numerous feet which were a sign we can sew materials of different thickness on it. Among all feet let’s mention zigzag, buttonhole, blind hem foot, overedge foot, roll hem foot and ¼”seam foot.
And I tried it on cotton, denim and leather. It works great on all these fabrics. I was most of all satisfied because I could sew upholstery on it.
I got my Janome HD3000 in a hard case with a pretty clear instructional manual and 18 built-in stitches. But, there is a small thing I have to complain about. I had to shift the stitch selector after each buttonhole because it’s not automatically done and the reverse stitch button is not in its usual position so it takes time to get used to it.
2. Brother ST371HD
If you are in search of a sewing machine that’s strong and durable let me introduce you to Brother ST371HD model. Among dozens I tested I separated this one as really good.
Sewing leather requires a strong sewing machine. This model appeared to be quite tough and durable. I tested on leather and three layers of denim cloth and let me tell you I was surprised by how easy I’ve finished the job.
Like with all other sewing machines, I pay much attention to sewing feet. This model includes 6 different feet that are quick-changing. I have to tell you that I was surprised with a wide range of materials you can sew on this machine that I even tried it on silk. It turned out great.
I dare to say this is one of the better models I’ve tested so far. I chose to keep this exact model because it’s pretty lightweight so I wanna take it with me when I travel.
What else could you be interested in? I like keeping things short so I mostly extract some most important things about the sewing machine model. This one has 37 built-in stitches. I’ll add that it includes heavyweight needles which I tested on faux leather.
What people asked me about this model is if they can quilt on it. That’s why I tried and I can tell you yes, you can! Now, you probably wonder how can everything be so perfect? Of course, it’s not completely perfect. After a couple of projects, I faced tension bunching up the fabric and needle broke two times. In order to check how responsive customer support was I contacted them. They helped me solve the problem. So that part is quite awesome.
3. SINGER Heavy Duty 4423
If you are in search of a sewing machine that will be able to constantly sew the leather I think I’ve just found the one that fits your needs. Singer always has great sewing machines. What is so special about Singer 4423 model? My answer would be a strong motor.
Besides heavy-duty needles which are a must if you are to sew leather, strong sewing machine motor is a prerequisite. This model has around 60 percent stronger motor than most similar models and these performances are what made me buy and test it.
Leather projects mostly require a sewing workhorse what this machine turned out to be. I’ve tried out 15 out of 23 built-in stitches (12 of which are decorative) and I was more than satisfied. I like finishing projects quickly so the approximately 1.100 stitches per minute on leather fabric were more than satisfying.
Different presser feet allow sewing on different fabrics. I always pay attention to saving you up a couple of bucks. Every combination that’s good saves both money and time. When I find a sewing machine that can do regular sewing along with some specific type (like after all sewing leather is) I test and present it to you.
I believe that, same as me, you’ll be satisfied with this model. Let me just add it has an automatic needle threader, heavy-duty metal frame and a whole bunch of accessories. And, feel free to use it for quilting.
One thing you have to pay attention to if you decide to get this Singer model – this is a self-lubricant sewing machine and here’s the kicker: If you want it to work properly you have to use it. You don’t have to do it every day, but occasionally is obligatory or else you’ll face some breakage and malfunction.
4. Singer Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine
How did I decide to test this precise model? Well, you see, I needed a Halloween costume for my kid. I’ve done some researches about Singer 4411 model and it said it has a stainless-steel bedplate that allows fabrics to glide over the machine. And that’s when I got the idea to try making a satin costume. At the time I was already researching the best vintage sewing machine for leather. And this is where it got good: I realized I could use the same machine for both projects.
It turned out to be a complete hit. The heavy-duty metal frame gives it stability in a way. It has three-needle positions which you can adjust to your projects. Watch out to always use a heavy-duty needle if you want to sew leather.
I like stitches and always check if there are built-in stitches. Their number here is 11 (6 basic, 4 decorative and 1 buttonhole stitch). They kind of make things faster, especially if you have tons of projects lagging behind. Also, 1.100 stitches per minute are quite a speed. I’ve finished our testing project in no time.
Yet, besides all the good sides which are definitely numerous, I would pay attention to threading. It appears that this isn’t clearly explained in the manual, the picture is somehow not obvious and the same is on the machine itself. So, I’ll tell you what to do, just in case; picture six shows you that the thread goes through the metal holder but it doesn’t show clearly that it also goes into a small piece of metal lying on top of the needle mouth. You have to thread it this way or otherwise face troubles!
5. TOYOTA Super Jeans J15
We’ve all heard about Toyota cars but did you know they also produce sewing machines? Since I know all about Japanese machine quality I’ve decided to try out something new. My team and I tested Toyota Super J15 sewing machine.
Here’s a little help – if you aren’t sure whether your local dealer has this model, you can buy it where we did.
What we were first attracted to was honestly the looks. It’s black, pretty handsome and totally different from other sewing machines by appearance.
The table is huge for a home sewing machine so you can use it for all types of projects, even the big ones. It has all the necessary feet but what we were especially interested in was a gliding foot. You can literally sew over several layers of denim and without any difficulties, completely smoothly. So why not using it for sewing leather as well? It can sew 12 layers of hard denim (and that we’ve checked) easily. And this is where it gets better – it doesn’t miss a stitch.
Another very interesting thing – there is a ruler on the extension table. I could measure without moving my project and I was absolutely thrilled! This is rather an unusual option but a good one. It really speeded me up!
Now, people asked if it’s possible to remove this extra size table and the answer is yes. There’s a smaller table and you can replace them if you are planning on working on some smaller projects.
We have to resent this model that’s a little tough on lightweight fabrics such as silk and satin. There is a possibility your material will be moving around the table in the case of these fabrics, but you’ll get the job done if you sew carefully!
6. Singer 7258 Sewing Machine
Among all the others, we had to test this computerized Singer 7258 sewing machine model. To tell the truth, the rest of my team basically insisted on trying this model.
Why we tested it in the first place? Firstly, it’s computerized what already makes things much easier. But honestly, it was because of the stitches. We didn’t get enough time to try all 76 decorative stitches but we’ve tried out the majority and we liked them.
Needle threader works automatically which is a real relief when you’re in a hurry as we were! Of course, stitches are easily changeable because all you need to do is press a button.
Singer sewing machines are great by itself but I was wondering if it’s possible to sew on knit fabrics on this 7258 Singer model. I don’t know why knitting came to my mind in the first place but the best part is this machine does it. Great stuff, honestly! The only thing you need is the right needle.
Is there a problem you can expect? Yes, that would be the bobbin. It happens that a bobbin winder stops and causes an error. If this happens, contact customer support and check the manual. It is a computerized machine after all so some mistakes are possible. BUYER’S GUIDE
With the right knowledge and tools for learning, choosing the right heavy duty leather sewing machine can be very rewarding and fun. Our buying guide is a summary of all the essential factors of your choice.
Why Do I Need a Leather Sewing Machine?
Leather was always very popular and its popularity only grew in time. Things like leather jackets and coats are a symbol of a stylish and fashionable person and almost all of us have at least one piece in our wardrobe.
Besides, leather is often used for upholstery and home décor. So why not saving up some money and getting a sewing machine for leatherwork instead of giving other people money for leather things we can make ourselves.
One more good reason for sewing with leather is that it’s one of the most durable materials. However, leather it’s not easy to work with and you’ll need a couple of tricks for sewing leather, but once you pass this beginning, you’ll create whatever you want!
Why do you need a leather sewing machine? Leather doesn’t forgive mistakes. Bad needles or machines can destroy your projects. Every stitch you make makes a permanent hole you cannot remove.
The right sewing machine will help you avoid leather stitching to the presser foot or the throat plate which often happens on machines that aren’t suitable for sewing leather.
Next, the leather sewing machines provide longer stitches, which is important for an adequate, strong seam.
How To Stitch Leather?
The key to making a great leather sewing project is stitches. You can pretty much mess up everything with a sewing machine that’s not suitable for leather sewing. The leather is a solid material and a standard machine will try to make tighter stitches which can cause thread breakage. Using the manual wheel can also be hard and that’s why you need a suitable sewing machine for leatherwork.
Needles need to be new every time. Having in mind that leather isn’t the cheapest fabric I’m sure you’re not willing to ruin it with a dull or broken needle. It’s possible that you’ll have to change the needle during your sewing because it’s not unusual that leather breaks the needle or make it dull after a while.
Instead of using a cotton thread, use a synthetic one. It is more resistant and stronger. If you are not sure which one to choose, I suggest nylon or rayon thread.
How To Sew Leather On a Home Sewing Machine?
The first thing that crosses my mind when I say leather sewing is an industrial sewing machine. A while ago, leather sewing was reserved for industry and big sewing factories. Today, that is not the case. Now you have many different machines that provide leather sewing in the comfort of your home.
The trick is to choose the right sewing machine because not every one of them is good for leather.
To do this properly, you need your sewing machine to fit. Most machines that sew leather are heavy duty machines. For sewing leather at home, you’ll need a leather sewing needle which is different than the regular one.
You can sew with regular presser foot just be prepared to leather stitching to it. You can replace it with a roller foot, a walking foot, or a Teflon one.
Don’t hold the leather with pins to avoid unnecessary holes. Use a polyester thread on a long stitch length.
In the end, just take your time. You need to be careful with leather fabrics, especially when you work on a home sewing machine.
How To Hand Stitch Leather?
Hand sewing can be very interesting and fun. And the fact that hand stitching is probably the easiest way to stitch leather makes it even more interesting.
For leather hand stitching, we’ll use a so-called saddle stitch technique. What do we need for this?
- Leather stitching needles
- A groover
- Nylon thread
- Stitching piercer
- Overstitch wheel
- Rubber cement
How to do it?
Take a rubber cement. Use it to hold the leather while sewing. It’s great because you can easily break this connection if you make any mistake.
Next, put a groove using a stitching groover. This will help you make a nice straight line. After this, it will be easier to stitch. With overstitch wheel mark thread spacing.
Now, the stitching part – use two needles, one for each end of the thread. Start stitching. A quick tip: If you want to be sure you’ll avoid slipping of the thread, after you secure the thread you’ve pushed through the needle eyelet, push the needle through the middle of the thread approximately an inch lower.
Few Buying Tips
What do you need to pay attention to when buying the best leather sewing machine for beginners?
- Are they heavy-duty? If you want to sew leather you’ll need a heavy-duty sewing machine.
- What presser feet are there? We talked about this. It’s possible to sew with a regular presser foot but there are better options to avoid leather stitching.
- Needles – for sewing leather, you’ll need special needles, tended to be used on leather fabrics. Change the needle for each new project
- Additional features, such as a greater number of built-in stitches and presser feet make the job much easier and more fun.
- The price – You get what you pay for. It is possible to sew leather on a home sewing machine but only if it’s good. The price varies from 100$ to a couple of thousand dollars. Your budget and projects will dictate the price!
Sewing leather can be very profitable because leather is always in. As you could find out by reading this, the most important is to have a good leather sewing machine. The rest is your will and persistence. Maybe you’ll mess up a few projects but in time you’ll get enough skills to sew anything you want from leather.