There is little to rival the appearance of leather products. They look good and feel even better.
Leather goods are extremely rugged but also tough to create. The material is resistant to needles and very unforgiving when it comes to making any mistakes. A single ill-placed hole can undo all your good work and become a very expensive, frustrating mistake.
The smart solution is to invest in the best sewing machine for leather working with you and we are here today to help take all the sting out of that buying decision.
I’ll present 23 of the best sewing machines for working with thick fabrics ranging in price from very cheap to top-tier machines better suited for commercial users.
There’s something for everyone here!
What is Sewing For Leather?
Leather garments are some of the most beautiful and durable fashions, however, they are also some of the most difficult to make. Are you into custom leather crafts? If yes, you will need a sewing machine for leather since you will be working with a stubborn and thick material that despises needles stuck into it.
Having a dedicated sewing machine for leather will not only help you sew leather and complete various heavy duty projects with ease, but it will also boost the excitement and keep you interested in sewing. If you have a sewing machine for leather, you will find creating custom leather things interesting to make.
So, dedicated sewing machines for leather are usually heavy duty sewing machines that provide stability and sturdiness to handle thick fabrics such as leather, canvas, denim, and so on. However, did you know that leather varies in stickiness, weight, texture, thickness, chemical composition, density, and dryness?
I am sharing this because not every sewing machine you buy will be able to sew leather as you expect. Meaning, you need to be very careful when choosing your first sewing machine for leather. Some will be able to sew garment weight leather but cannot help you make belts, chaps, saddle bags, holsters or tack.
Others will help you sew leather gloves, leather boots, leather purses, and other projects with ease. It is so because they are special sewing machines for bags or for saddle making. You might as well use them for horse tack or for knife sheaths. But only the best sewing machine for leather and denim can do this.
Just because a sewing machine has a metal construction, is large, or even commercial grade, it does not have to mean that it will sew leather to perfection. After hours of research, I have come to a conclusion that in order to sew leather, you will need a high-quality heavy duty sewing machine with walking foot.
Is a Leather Sewing Machine Really Necessary?
While sewing leather by hand can be rewarding, it’s also time-consuming and certainly not the easiest type of crafting.
Buying a sewing machine is not strictly speaking necessary but it will certainly simplify things for you.
If you have decided to work with leather using a machine, buying one that is specifically designed to deal with thick material is a must. If you use a standard sewing machine, the leather is likely to stick to the throat plate or presser feet. In the best scenario it will slow you down while the worst outcome is a hole in the leather ruining your project completely.
Specialized leather sewing machines also tend to give you longer stitch length choices. This is essential for strong and secure seams.
If you are in any doubt as to whether or not your existing machine will cope with leather, get some scrap leather and give it a try.
23 Best Leather Sewing Machine to Buy
In order to help you choose the best sewing machine for leather, I decided to highlight a few choices for different skill level. Make sure to read their pros and cons below the comparsion chart before you order.
- Best Overall: Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine
“Best for making leather bags, tote bags, leather handbags, maximum stitch length of 4mm, sturdy construction, high presser foot.”
- Best Beginner: Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
“Cheap, smooth fabric feed, many stitch options, specialized presser feet and special needles included.”
- Best Heavy Leather: Singer 9960 Sewing Machine
“Easy to use, heavy weight fabrics, vinyl and leather, great for clothing making.”
- Best Heavy Duty: Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Sewing Machine
“Commercial quality in a domestic machine, power plus balance wheel, first-rate customer support.
- Best Industrial: JUKI DDL-5550 Sewing Machine
“Incredibly fast, brand heritage, whisper-quiet operation, automatic thread trimmer, auto-lubrication.”
- Best Walking Foot: Juki DDL-8700 Sewing Machine
“Walking Foot, single-stitch, straight Stitch, light and medium weight fabrics, sewing speed of 5,500 stitches per minute.”
- Best Inexpensive: SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine
“Fast, great variety with 23 automatic stitch choices, automatic needle threading, sewing assistant app.”
- Best Denim & Leather: TOYOTA J34 Super Jeans Machine
“Heavy duty sewing machine, 34 built-in stitches, feature-rich, presser Foot Pressure Adjustment”
- Best Professionals: Reliable 4000SW Sewing Machine
“A large capacity hook, 2,000 RPM, tool kit, drawer and thread stand included, single row feed dog.”
- Best Singer: SINGER 4432 Sewing Machine
“Automatic needle threader, time-saver, heavy-duty metal frame, ultra-durable, popular brand, cheap.”
- Best Mid-Arm: Juki TL-2010Q Sewing Machine
“Supersized tray, highly-durable, lightweight, automatic threading, variable speed control slider. ””
- Best Portable: Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
“Cheap, lightweight, neat and evens titches, start/stop button, drop-in bobbin, quiet work, dust cover.”
- Best Leather Holsters: Tandy Leather Tippmann Boss Machine
- Best Manual Leather: Techsew 2900 Industrial Sewing Machine
Sewing Machine For Leather Near You
If this is your first time learning about leather sewing machines, you probably wonder where do I buy a sewing machine for leather? Luckily for you, we have reviewed some of the best sewing machines for leather on the market down below. However, you can also make your personal independent research!
All you have to do is write something like ‘where to buy a sewing machine for leather near me’ or ‘buy a leather sewing machine near me’, or ‘leather sewing machine shops near me’ and look for yourself.
If you have no time for that, check out this map! We have inserted a map that will point out the places where you can buy a sewing machine for leather near you!
Check out their working hours and prices. However, if you want to shop for your leather sewing machine online, scroll down and pick the one that meets your requirements in the comparison chart down below.
Best Sewing Machine for Leather Comparison 2020
Do you want to see the features of the best sewing machines for leather in a nutshell? You may want to take a look at our comparison table guide:
|Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine - Editor's Choice||10 x 19 x 15 inches||23 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|SINGER Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine - Budget Pick||15.5 x 6.2 x 12 inches||14.5 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 BASIC Sewing Machine - Heavy Leather||18.5 x 17 x 15 inches||55 pounds||Domestic||2-Year Limited Warranty.|
|Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine||17.2 x 8.2 x 12 inches||20 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|JUKI DDL-5550 Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine||48 x 36 x 48 inches||250 pounds||Industrial||5-year Limited Warranty|
|Juki TL- 2010Q Sewing Machine - Mid-arm Sewing Machine||25.7 x 14 x 18 inches||38 pounds||Industrial||5-year Limited Warranty|
|Brother CS6000i Sewing and Quilting Machine||16 x 6.7 x 11.4 inches||13 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|SINGER Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine||15.2 x 6.2 x 12 inches||17.25 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|Brother DZ3000 Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine||21.3 x 13.7 x 17.9 inches||21.6 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|Janome HD1000 Heavy Duty Machine||18.2 x 8.5 x 15.2 inches||21.8 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine||7.9 x 16.1 x 12.2 inches||18.4 pounds||Domestic||25-year Limited Warranty|
|SINGER 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine||15.5 x 6.2 x 12||14.5 pounds||Domestic||25-year limited warranty|
|Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine||16 x 7 x 12.5||19.2 pounds||Industrial||25-year limited warranty|
|Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine||20 x 11 x 17||23.6 pounds||Domestic||25-year limited warranty|
|Consew 206RB-5 Sewing Machine For Leather||0 x 0 x 0||250 pounds||Domestic||1 year warranty|
|JUKI DNU-1541S Industrial Leather Sewing Machine||48 x 36 x 48||250 pounds||Domestic||5-year limited warranty|
|Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Leather Sewing Machine||7 x 21 x 10.5||220 pounds||Domestic||1-year limited warranty|
|TOYOTA Super Jeans J34 Sewing Machine - Best Sewing Machine For Leather and Denim||18 x 14 x 9.2||14.9 pounds||Domestic||5-year limited warranty|
|JUKI DDL-8700 Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine||48 x 36 x 48||20 pounds||Domestic||1-year warranty|
|Leather Sewing Machine Tippmann||10.5 x 22 x 5||26 pounds||Domestic||1-year warranty|
|Singer 4452 Heavy Duty Sewing Machinе||15.5 x 6.2 x 12||17.45 pounds||Domestic||25-year limited warranty|
|FISTERS Hand Machine Cobbler Shoe Repair Machine Dual Cotton Nylon Line Sewing Machine||20.8 x 13.9 x 5.5||24.2 pounds||Domestic||20-year limited warranty|
|Seeutek Shoe Repair Machine Manual Shoe Mending Sewing Machine||20.6 x 14 x 6.1||24.6 pounds||Domestic||5-year warranty|
23 Best Sewing Machine For Leather 2020
To help you determine which is the best sewing machine for leather 2020, I have compiled information about the top 23 leather sewing machines for thick material or heavy fabric available today. Don't worry!
I promise you will be satisfied with the best leather sewing machine suitable for your sewing leather purpose after reading this article.
Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine
This mechanical sewing machine has all the features you would want in a sewing machine. Janome HD3000 has a top loading bobbin and automatic needle threader and bobbin system so you can get the job done properly and easily.
Even though the machine has a plastic frame, many people consider this to be heavy duty because its internal frame is made of metal. This construction makes the device more affordable while still maintaining is sturdiness and durability.
Like most mechanical sewing machines, this one does not offer plenty of stitch options. It only provides the user with 18 built-in stitch designs with 1-step buttonhole options.
It also includes a free arm which allows you to make leather pants and sleeves. Moreover, the workspace of this sewing machine is wide and comes with adequate lighting to illuminate your sewing projects.
Why It is Recommended for Leather:
I included this machine in this list simply because it has plenty of features that would come handy in sewing leather. For one, it has an extra high presser foot which allows the machine not just to accommodate multiple layers of leather but also provide enough space for the clips or binders you use for securing your fabrics.
It also comes with easy-to-glide presser feet, and the best thing about it is that you can attach presser feet easily because of its snap-on feature.
Last but not least, the machine is heavy so it can maintain its stability no matter how many layers of leather you will sew.
- Maximum stitch length of 4mm which is perfect for leather
- Durable and sturdy aluminum body
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Detailed instruction manual
- High Presser Foot
- Does not offer many stitch patterns
- Small work table
SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine
(Best Inexpensive Leather Sewing Machine)
We’ll kick off our top 8 sewing machines for leather reviews with a heavy duty, all-round workhorse from Singer, the highly respected 4423.
With a durable metal frame and a stainless steel bedplate, this Singer 4423 is built for serious mileage. Although it’s heavy, it’s not particularly bulky so you’ll get the best of both worlds.
Capable of an impressive 1100 stitches per minute (spm), this is not a machine for beginners. The extremely powerful 105-watt motor makes this raw power possible.
You’ll get a wonderful automated experience with the 4423. The needle is threaded automatically just as the bobbin will wind with a single push of a button.
The 1-step buttonhole is the easier of the two types generally available.
Four presser feet are thrown in:
- All-Purpose Foot
- Buttonhole Foot
- Zipper Foot
- Button Sewing Foot
If you want to make a small extra investment, this great set of presser feet will cover all your sewing needs and make light work of sewing with leather.
With the Singer Sewing Assistant app – available for iOS and Android – you can enjoy answers to FAQs, watch some handy tutorials and pick up some great advice on sewing techniques.
From making simple alterations to creating garments from scratch, the 4423 is a versatile powerhouse coming in at an extremely good price.
If you want a no-nonsense machine capable of sewing leather without breaking the bank, the Singer 4423 sewing machine should certainly be on your shortlist.
- Frame and bedplate built to last
- Extremely fast: 1100 spm
- Great variety with 23 automatic stitch choices
- Perfect for drapery and upholstery
- Automatic needle threading and bobbin winding for total convenience
- Very reasonably priced for such quality
- Singer Sewing Assistant app gives excellent instruction
- Not suitable for those just starting out
Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 BASIC Leather Sewing Machine
(Best Heavy Leather Sewing Machine)
When it comes to sewing with leather, many people recommend hand sewing to avoid the misfeeds that are common with many sewing machines. This advice is sound if you stumble in and buy any old machine but with Sailrite’s LSZ-1 you can sew with absolute confidence.
This machine redefines “heavy duty”. You’ll be able to sew through up to 10 layers of canvas or 8 layers of Dacron fuss-free. When it comes to sewing leather, even if it’s thick from tanning, you’ll have no problems at all.
As the name hints, this machine can also be used for making sails for boats. With straight and zigzag stitches available, you can make light work of heavy sailcloths made from Dacron.
You will need to buy yourself a separate needle for leather. The needles provided will simply not puncture the material properly or stitch effectively so make the small investment and get yourself a great dedicated needle.
The Sailrite comes with a patented Power Plus Balance Wheel. This is twice as large as a regulation flywheel and offers much more power. You’ll be able to sew at 500 spm.
With the wide mechanical zigzag presser foot, you’ll be able to simply pull thick fabrics through in both directions with consistently strong results.
For beginners through to proficient home sewers and sailmakers, the LSZ-1 is a solid and durable machine that will cope with the heaviest materials all day long.
- Sew through 10 layers of canvas with ease: ideal for thick leather
- Commercial quality in a residential machine
- Power Plus Balance Wheel – bigger and more powerful than a regular flywheel
- First-rate customer support
- Make bags or work on upholstery with ease
- 2-year warranty so buy with confidence
- Straight and zigzag stitches
- Presser foot: zigzag mechanical
- Quick at 500spm
- Need to buy needle for sewing leather
Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
(Easy to use Sewing Machine for Leather)
If you are looking for a cheap sewing machine for leather, this product should be at the top of your list. This is perfect for beginners as it is not only affordable—it is easy to operate as well.
But don’t be fooled by its price, this machine is quite versatile and even provides the user with 37 built-in stitch options. Thanks to its dial control, you can easily select the type of stitch that you want to create.
Just like most Brother sewing machines (even the basic ones), this machine has the typical Brother features including a jam-resistant top loading bobbin, automatic needle threader, and free arm.
Why It is Recommended for Leather:
I included this machine in this list because of all the amazing features that it has. Let us begin with its metal needle plate feature (which is my personal favorite) that promotes easy gliding of the fabric to the machine. The machine also includes a few specialty needles. Among these needles, the best one that you can use is the #16 needle designed to sew heavy fabrics like leather.
Moreover, the machine also comes with 6 versatile presser feet and extra specialized ones like the nonstick foot which glides over difficult fabrics (like leather) easily. It also has spring action zigzag foot which comes handy in sewing fabrics of various thicknesses.
- Highly affordable
- Smooth fabric feed which is perfect for leather
- Plenty of stitch options
- Specialized presser feet included
- Special needles included
- Not as heavyweight as other machines
- May not be suitable for multiple layers of leather
SINGER 9960 Sewing Machine
Another classic sewing machine from Singer next, the 9960 Quantum Stylist.
This machine has 600 built-in stitches. No, that’s not a mistake. Six hundred! These are broken down as follows:
- Utility Stitches (103)
- Buttonholes (13)
- Decorative Stitches (34)
- Upper and Lower Case Letters, Numbers and Characters: 5 fonts (450)
With so many stitches, it’s great news that you can consult these on a handy reference chart on the machine itself.
There are 18 presser feet, an automatic needle threader and an automatic thread cutter taking lots of work out of your hands and allowing you to focus on your crafting while the machine does the work.
When working with larger projects, the extension table comes in very handy.
If you want to monogram, you’ll be spoiled for choice with 5 attractive fonts available.
With plenty of accessories thrown in and all major bases covered, the Singer 9960 will allow you to confidently work with leather without needing to hand sew unless you want to.
For a fully automated and digitized experience, you really can’t go wrong with the 9960. It seems almost impossible to believe that so much can be delivered for so little. If you are serious about sewing, this machine should definitely be on your shortlist.
- An incredible 600 built-in stitches for absolute versatility
- Very cheap for such quality
- Rapid sewing: 850spm
- 19 presser feet for maximum choice
- Extension table for larger projects
- Automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin make setting up a breeze
- Automatic thread cutter for quick and easy sewing
- Auto-pilot and speed control allow you to focus on awkward areas more easily
- Auto-sized buttonholing
- LCD display crisp and clear to read
- Can be highly confusing for beginners or those who are not tech-savvy
- Cannot mount this model to a cabinet
- Not all feet are labeled so need to consult your manual
JUKI DDL-5550 Sewing Machine
(Best Industrial Sewing Machine For Leather)
We’ll take a look next at a more expensive industrial sewing machine from the highly reputable manufacturer Juki.
The Juki DDL-5550 is not as versatile as some machines. It’s a single needle, straight stitch machine so if you want zigzags and more variety, this is not the machine for you.
The speed needs to be seen to be believed. With an ultra-quiet 110V motor, you can stitch at up to 5500spm. This is far quicker than most of the opposition.
For an industrial sewing machine that’s also perfectly comfortable in the home, take a good look at the Juki DDL-5550. Think carefully about exactly how you intend to use your machine and, if your needs are simple, this is worthy of checking out further.
- Incredibly quick: 5500spm
- Brand heritage
- Whisper-quiet so perfect for home use as well as industrial projects
- Automatic thread trimmer for ease
- Auto-lubrication to minimize maintenance
- Built-in bobbin winder great time saver
- Will struggle with thicker leather
Juki TL-2010Q Sewing Machine
(Best Mid-Arm Sewing Machine for Leather)
Another great machine from Juki is up next, the Juki TL-2010Q sewing machine.
This machine is slightly less expensive than the above model but still not ideal if you are on a tight budget.
The Q is for quilting here and whether it’s ambitious quilting projects or working with leather, the Juki delivers in fine style. It should be noted that the straight mechanical stitch means that this is not suitable as an all-purpose sewing machine.
Lots of sewing machines for leather are extremely complex but this all-metal beast is extremely user-friendly without compromising on quality.
With 3 presser feet and 4 bobbins, you’ll have enough variety without being bewildered.
The main selling point of this model from Juki is the exceptional stitch quality. Simply turn the dial for length adjustments while a basic slider tweaks the speed. Starting from 200spm, you can go as quickly as 1500spm.
If you are looking for an all-rounder capable of a great deal without an excess of unnecessary stitches, the Tl-2010Q could be just what you were looking for. From beginners through to more advanced sewers, the Juki is a reliable workhorse ideal for sewing leather.
- A manufacturer you can trust
- Stitch with absolute precision
- Supersized tray perfect for large projects
- Highly durable
- Very lightweight and portable for such a heavy-duty machine
- Variable speed control slider
- Automatic threading
- Trimming system controlled by foot so keep your hands free
- Quite quick: 1500spm
- 3 presser feet and 4 bobbins
- Manual thread tension
- Cannot sew while winding the bobbin
Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine
With 60 built-in stitches and 7 varieties of buttonhole using the simple 1-step method, you have a great degree of flexibility for a wide range of crafting projects.
The LCD display is clear and easy to read. Selecting your stitch length and width is hassle-free.
The drop-in bobbin is a cinch to load and jam-resistant for your convenience.
You’ll get a free-arm built in so working with cuffs and sleeves is a breeze.
A table lets you work comfortably on more substantial projects. It’s extra-wide and a nice bonus. The sewing area comes brightly lit so you can work without needing to squint your eyes.
The CS6000i stitches at 850spm when at full clip.
For a versatile sewing machine that’s computerized while still being straightforward to use, the Brother CS6000i is a wonderful choice if you want quality on a tight budget.
- Very cheap
- Needle up and down button saves time
- Stitches are neat and even
- Start/Stop button very handy
- Easy to thread
- Drop-in bobbin is user-friendly
- Great work table for larger projects
- Very quiet
- Dust cover a nice touch
- 850spm for quick and accurate work
- Presser foot pressure does not adjust
- Some plastic parts internally so not as heavy duty as some machines
- If you switch the machine off, it reverts to default settings
SINGER 4432 Sewing Machine
(Mid-Range Sewing Machine for Leather)
Our penultimate machine in these best 10 sewing machines for leather reviews is yet another Singer, this time the Singer 4432 heavy duty sewing machine.
You’ll get 32 built-in stitches (6 essential, 18 decorative, 7 stretch, 1 fully automatic 1-step buttonhole) so that all your basic needs are covered without there being too much choice to confuse you.
The metal frame is exceptionally strudy. You can sew at pace, even with heavier fabrics, with no skipping to ruin your project. It’s so durable that it can last for decades if properly maintained.
The automatic needle threader means you’ll be up and running without fiddling around.
For experienced sewers looking for a mid-range machine capable of sewing leather, the Singer 4432 heavy duty is definitely worth a road-test.
- 1100spm for swift stitching
- 32 built-in stitches for nice variety
- Automatic needle threader to save time and effort
- Heavy-duty metal frames means no skipping while sewing
- Brand you can rely on
- Quite heavy but light enough to carry around at 15 pounds (carrying case supplied)
- Can make a high-pitched noise
- Table is not wide enough for larger projects: this is particularly awkward for beginners
- Not the best machine for novice sewers
Brother DZ3000 Sewing Machine
(Advanced Sewing Machine for Leather)
Rounding out our reviews of the best machines for sewing with leather is another excellent model from Brother, the DZ3000.
With a colossal 240 built-in stitches, 8 buttonholes available using the simpler 1-step method and 14 presser feet, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck with the DZ3000.
The top thread and bobbin are very easy to thread. This machine is across-the-board extraordinarily user-friendly.
The worktable is nice and wide so you can craft away on bigger projects without being cramped for space.
If you want an advanced computerized sewing machine that copes well with leather but does not leave you baffled when it comes to operating it, look no further than the Brother DZ3000.
- 240 built-in stitches gives massive variety
- 8 1-step buttonholes
- Monogramming is easy
- Extra-wide table great for large projects
- Simple to thread top thread and bobbin
- 14 presser feet included
- Supersized LCD display is ultra-clear
- Not great with 120V power supply
- Quite expensive compared to some Brother sewing machines
- Plastic feels rather flimsy
Janome HD1000 Sewing Machine
(Most Affordable Sewing Machine for Leather)
If you are looking for something more affordable than the Janome HD3000, Janome HD1000 is the best option that you have. It offers almost the same features as that of Janome HD3000 but in a lesser powerful form.
This heavy-duty machine offers 14 stitch options including 4-step buttonhole styles. It includes 4 presser feet along with a few bobbins and needles.
This machine offers plenty of features that a beginner can take advantage of. For one, it has a built-in needle threader designed to simplify the threading process. It also has drop feed for freehand sewing and quilting of buttonholes. Lastly, its storage compartment is removable to allow you to enjoy free arm sewing.
Why It is Recommended for Leather:
This machine is made of a cast aluminum body and is the second heaviest sewing machine in this list. This indicates that the machine is sturdy and will not shake or get disrupted when sewing heavy fabrics like leather.
It has also earned the HD moniker because of its powerful 1.0 amp motor that is strong enough to sew thick fabrics at high speed. Moreover, it has an extra high presser foot lifter which allows the user to feed thick fabrics into the machine with ease.
The machine features a 3-piece feed dog system which facilitates the smooth feeding of all types of fabric, even leather.
- Industrial-grade aluminum construction
- Powerful motor
- Handle all types of fabric
- Simple functionality
- Elegant look
- Adjusting the drop feed can be a bit difficult
- You have to adjust the tension manually
SINGER 4411 Sewing Machine
(Leather Sewing Machine For Beginners)
No matter if you are looking for a sewing machine for creating leather belts and other more complicated products, or you are looking for a leather sewing machine for beginners, Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine has your back!
It is one of the best leather sewing machines on the market because of many reasons! And one of those reasons is abundance. It is feature-rich, meaning it included many accessories that will satisfy the need of both beginners and professionals.
With this machine you get 11 built-in stitches among which 6 are basic stitches, 4 are decorative stitches and 1 built-in buttonhole. It is perfect for home décor, custom crafts, fashion sewing and so much more!
Also, it has an adjustable needle position. Meaning, the needle can be changed to any of the three available positions to add zippers. Or a decorative touch with cording and top stitching! Top-quality leather sewing machine with metal frame for stability and a powerful motor for best results!
It sews up to 1,100 stitches per minute which is pretty amazing! And it provides adjustable presser foot controls. Meaning you can sew both very lightweight and heavy-duty fabrics such as leather with ease!
A true workhorse that will make you fall in love with at first usage! It has a stainless steel bed plate and seems flawless. However, just like any other product on the market, this too has disadvantages. And one of those disadvantages is the fact that it is warranted for use in the USA and Canada at 110 volts only.
- Maximum 1,100 stitches per minute
- Adjustable needle position
- Adjustable presser foot controls
- Sews both light and heavier fabrics
- Powerful motor and stainless steel
- 11 built-in stitches and feature-rich
- Metal frame for stability and durability
- Suitable for beginners and professionals
- It is warranted for use in the US and Canada at 110 V only
Singer CG590 Sewing Machine
If you want a true workhorse that will help you sew leather and other stubborn fabrics with ease, Singer CG590 is the best choice for you. It is armored with a heavy duty metal interior frame, extra high sewing speed, stainless steel bedplate, and powerful motor – it can sew through about anything you throw at it.
It also has 18 built-in stitches, top drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, drop feed for free motion sewing and an auto 4-step buttonhole. It adds a new dimension of ease to heavy duty sewing and keeps you excited about the craft. You also get extra accessories and an instruction manual with a stitch guide.
Singer CG590 is the best commercial grade sewing machine that will provide an exciting and easy sewing experience, even for beginners. No matter your skill level, CG590 will make you feel like a sewing expert.
No matter if you are searching for a sewing machine for leather and vinyl, or want a workhorse that can help you sew leather car seats, leather belts, leather vest, leather sofa, leather seats, leather wallets and more, this is the perfect choice for you. It is the greatest sewing machine for leather and fabric as well.
- Super fast stitch capability
- Great self-adjusting tension
- Powerful motor and stability
- The wheel seems hard to turn
- Bobbins too small for some users
- It is noisy and shakes horribly
Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine
The second model on our list of best sewing models for leather is Janome Sewist 500 with 25 built-in stitches among which you can find stretch stitches, utility stitches, and 1-step automatic buttonhole. It also has a built-in automatic needle threader. Meaning, you can thread your needle without eye-strain!
A high-end sewing machine for leather with a free arm for sewing cuffs, collars, and pants, and drop feed for stippling, darning, attaching buttonholes and much more! Have we mentioned the adjustable presser foot pressure that allows you to adjust the pressure on the fabric for the best sewing results?
Janome Sewist 500 sewing machine comes with a hard case for safe storage and easy transport and lots of accessories including extra needles, bobbins, felt, zipper foot, seam ripper, overedge foot, automatic buttonhole foot, blind hemming foot, buttonhole ripper and a quilting guide!
- 25 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Free arm for free motion sewing
- Adjustable presser foot pressure
- Hard case for protection and transport
- A high-end, feature-rich sewing machine
- You cannot buy some of the basic accessories for this sewing machine
- Some buyers complain about the loud sound that this machine makes
Consew 206RB-5 Sewing Machine
If you are looking for a simple but modern and efficient workhorse, Consew 206RB-5 heavy duty leather sewing machine is one of the best leather sewing machines on the market! It has an extra long stitch. Meaning it is made for heavy-duty materials. It also has a large bobbin that can be changed without removing the object.
Have we mentioned the thread release finger for heavy thread and the high presser foot lift – 9/16’’? How about the Reservoir-oiled hook with micrometric control valve for centralized arm lubrication? It has adjustable reverse stitching that can be the same length as a forward stitch, safety clutch with push-button re-engagement, needles, walking feet and many other attachments that will meet your needs!
The standard attachments can be easily installed. The compound feed, mechanics will make sure that the feeding of material is even, while the locking stitch regulator will prevent changes in stitch length from possible vibration. What more could you possibly ask for in a leather sewing machine?
- Modern, efficient and simple
- Thread release finger for heavy thread
- High presser foot lift 9/11 inches
- Centralized arm lubrication
- Safety clitch with push-button
- Easy to assemble, set and use
- Feature-rich and affordable
- Some customers complain about the unexpected loud sound
- Other users say that the thread options are hard to understand
JUKI DNU-1541S Sewing Machine
Next on our list of best sewing machines for leather is JUKI DNU-1541S Industrial Sewing Machine with a maximum sewing speed of 2500 stitches per minute! How awesome does this sound?
It has a maximum stitch length of 9 mm. We are talking about a single-needle, straight stitch, industrial sewing machine with a safety clutch mechanism that will make ensure that your sewing goes without a problem and prevent damage to your new toy!
Made by JUKI in Japan, one of the most popular sewing brands, this workhorse will make you fall in love with at first use! It is perfect for sewing leather and other heavy-duty fabrics. And it is definitely one of the best sewing machines on the market worth the investment!
- It sews up to 2500 stitches per minute and has a maximum stitch length of 9 mm
- It features a safety clutch mechanism for smooth sewing experience and damage prevention
- Ideal for sewing heavy-duty fabrics such as leather
- Made by Juki, one of the most popular and trusted sewing brands on the market
- Oiling, replacing the needle and bobbin is not easy if you follow the instruction manual
Reliable 4000SW Sewing Machine
Are you looking for something that will meet your all needs and requirements and simplify your heavy work? If yes, the Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Sewing Machine is the machine for you!
It offers 2,000-RPM high-speed operation, manual lubrication, drawer, thread stand included, single row feed dog and a large capacity hook. The best part? It is individually tested and sewn-off before shipping!
It is perfect for sewing heavy-duty fabrics such as leather without a problem! It is made to handle any type of heavy-duty fabrics starting from medium to heavyweight.
- Suitable for both beginners and professionals
- 2,000 RPM high-speed operation
- Manual lubrication
- Thread stand included
- Tool kit and drawer included
- Single row feed dog
- A large capacity hook
- Individually tested and sewn-off before shipping
- Ideal for heavy-duty fabrics such as leather
- Not well balanced for sewing at high speeds
TOYOTA J34 Sewing Machine
If you cannot trust Toyota, one of the most popular companies in the entire world, who can you trust? This is why we decided to mention the Toyota Super Jeans J34 sewing machine and review this model in detail! It is designed to sew through jeans, denim, and leather with great ease like no other machine!
It included gliding foot that can be found on Toyota Super Jeans Machines only! This allows the user to easily slide over different layers of heavy-duty fabrics!
It features 34 built-in stitches including utility stitches, stretch stitches, decorative stitches, blind hem stitches, overlock stitches, 4-way smocking stitch, applique stitches, a triple reinforced straight stitch, a triple reinforced zigzag stitch, and a 4-step buttonhole stitch! It also has an automatic needle threader!
Meaning, you can thread your needle without frustration and eye strain! And you can adjust the presser foot pressure with the simple turn of a dial. It even features a free arm for sewing cuffs, collars or pants.
It is one of the best sewing machines for both denim and leather that is definitely worth the investment!
- It is designed especially for sewing heavy-duty fabrics like leather
- Made by one of the most popular and trusted companies in the world
- It is a feature-rich machine that has adjustable presser foot pressure
- It features an automatic needle threader and a free arm
- It comes with an instruction book and a warranty card
- Some buyers complain about the cheap and poor plastic design
- Others say that the Toyota sewing machine is not worth the price
Juki DDL-8700 Sewing Machine
(Best Sewing Machine For Leather Upholstery)
If you need a single-stitch, straight stitch, industrial sewing machine, JUKI DDL-8700 is the one! It cannot get better than this! Can you believe that this model has a maximum sewing speed of 5,500 stitches per minute while the maximum stitch length is 5 mm? It is one of the greatest sewing machines for leather!
It is made to sew both light and medium weight fabrics. However, it is not designed for heavier materials such as leather. Thanks to the reduced vibration this baby provides one of the best sewing experiences!
- It has a maximum sewing speed of 5,500 stitches per minute
- A maximum stitch length of 5 mm and reduced vibration
- Suitable for both light and medium weight fabrics
- Not the best choice for heavy-duty fabrics
Leather Sewing Machine Tippmann
As you can notice by the name of this sewing machine, Tippman is made especially for leather and other heavy-duty fabrics! It is one of the best manual sewing machines on the market worth the price! It is an extremely strong machine that can finish almost everything you throw at it, especially heavy-duty tasks!
However, it is not the best choice for beginners! Still, if you want to try it out, a little practice is enough to learn how to sew like a pro! You might be wondering, what is wrong with this machine, it cannot be perfect. And you are absolutely correct! On rare occasions, it may fail to pick up the bobbin thread after making a 90-degree turn. However, just place the needle in the same hole again and you are good to go!
- An ideal choice for sewing heavy-duty fabrics
- Pricey but worth it!
- One of the best manual sewing machine
- Suitable for beginners and professionals
- Sometimes, it may fail to pick up the bobbin thread after making a 90-degree turn
- Some beginners might find this leather sewing machine hard to understand and use
Singer 4452 Sewing Machinе
Another heavy duty sewing machine worth your time and money is the Singer 4452! It is a feature-rich workhorse made to impress you! It comes with even 32 built-in stitches, including 6 basic, 10 decorative, 7 stretch stitches and a fully automatic 1-step buttonhole. A wide range of stitches for different projects.
It also has an automatic needle threader that will help you thread without frustration and eye strain. We suggest this model because it is a high-speed sewing machine suitable for both lightweight, medium and heavyweight fabrics! It has a powerful model that allows you to sew through different fabrics with ease!
- 32 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- High-speed sewing machine
- Suitable for any type of fabric
- Strong and powerful motor
- Lots of sewing machine accessories
- A soft-sided dust cover included
- Best-selling leather sewing machine
- Stainless steel bedplate
- Heavy duty interior metal frame
- It is warranted for use in the USA and Canada at 110 V only
FISTERS Shoe Repair Machine
(Manual Leather Sewing Machine)
If you are looking for a shoe repair machine, we have that on the list too! FISTERS hand machine cobbler shoe repair machine dual cotton nylon line sewing machine will allow you to sew sneakers, cloth shoes, rubber shoes, high heels, leather shoes and so much more including raincoats, trousers, and other goods.
It has a metal construction, wear resistant that is hard to destroy and will serve you for a very long time. It works quietly and will provide you with one of the best sewing experiences! It also features a free arm which you can use for approaching places where most machines cannot go! Easy to assemble and use!
- Very easy to assemble and use
- Quiet and smooth efficient performance
- It has a free arm for hard-to-reach places
- Metal construction, wear resistant and durable
- Suitable for different heavy-duty sewing tasks
- Some users complain about poor construction and design
- Others say that it takes some time to understand how it works
Seeutek Shoe Repair Machine
Another shoe repair machine that is worth your time and attention is the Seeutek Shoe Repair Machine Manual Show Mending Sewing Machine that is made to sew different materials by cotton or nylon wire, such as cloth shoes, high heels, sneakers, rubber shoes, leather bags, trousers, leather shoes and more!
It is made of iron and will serve you for a very long time! A durable and sturdy model that will definitely impress you! It is very easy to assemble and disassemble and move around. Simple but efficient sewing machine with a low maintenance cost that is worth your time and money! Do not forget to lubricate the moving parts before you use it! It has a foot that can be controlled, so it can sew in different directions.
- It has a free arm for hard-to-reach places
- Made to sew different heavy-duty fabrics
- Made of iron, durable, sturdy and strong!
- Simple but functional and easy to install
- It has a foot that can be easily controlled
- Some users claim that it is messy and difficult to use
The foot of this machine can be controlled. You can sew in any direction by turning the foot, it is very convenient. The arm allows you to enter inside of various shoes, where most other machines cannot go.
This shoe repair machine is manual, can well grasp the strength and accuracy of the machine operation, according to the process, can be suspended at any time. This is an advantage that automatic machines do not have.
Leather Sewing Machine Accessories?
If you are not a beginner but someone who’s already familiar with sewing and want to experiment with this fabric, you can use your current sewing machine for starters!
All you have to do is get some of the leather sewing machine accessories we will present later in this text in full detail. For now, it is enough to know that you will need stronger feed dogs and stronger needles!
Let’s assume that you do not want to purchase a special leather sewing machine or you already bought one and want to upgrade. In order to make it more efficient, you should purchase stringer feed dogs but why? This fabric can stick to your machine’s presser foot and cause difficulties when moving the leather.
However, you still need the foot in order to keep your leather intact – so what should you do? It is very simple! Buy stronger feed dogs!
The mechanism that keeps your fabric intact as your work is designed to push the material and allow the needle to do the rest. So, the stronger the mechanism, the smoother the leather stitching experience!
Next, you will need stronger sewing needles, as we mentioned! Sewing leather can turn into an easy and fun experience if you have the right needle in hand. You can buy strong sewing needles online for cheap.
And even though you should not worry about size much since most fit the standard sewing machine, it is recommended that you check if they are compatible with your machine before you make the purchase.
If you purchase the wrong size and use them, you will end up making large, ugly holes in your fabric and break the needles, eventually. Which leather sewing machine needles should I use, is one of the most frequent questions among beginners.
Best Leather Sewing Tools 2020
|44 PCs Leathercraft Basic Tools Kit Leather Punch Hand Sewing Tool||Hand Sewing Tool||14.6 x 12.2 x 2.1||$|
|Leather Sewing Tools SIMPZIA 24 Pieces Leather Tools||Hand Sewing Tool||4.5 x 2.1 x 7.2||$|
|Caydo 59 Pieces Leather Craft Hand Tools Kit for Hand Sewing Stitching||Hand Sewing Tool||9.3 x 2.1 x 11||$|
If you want to upgrade your sewing machine and play with leather, check out these top 3 leather sewing tools available in 2020! Pick the one that will boost the performance of your machine and your skills too!
44 PCs Leathercraft Basic Leather Sewing Tool
If you want to buy a leather sewing machine for beginners but want to practice hand sewing first, the 44 PCs leathercraft basic tools kit is the perfect choice for you! As the name of this product says, it is a DIY tools kit that will satisfy your every basic sewing need and boost both your sewing skills and creativity!
It includes a plastic professional cutting mat with size and white cutting mat. Keep in mind that the color of this is random. The most important part is that it meets your basic needs. It suits both beginners and professionals. If you want to start your design work and explore your creativity, this is the ONLY kit you will need! A high-quality product that will last for a long time and help you create leather masterpieces!
SIMPZIA 24 Pieces Leather Tools
If you are looking for a hand stitching set, this is the one! Leather sewing tools by SIMPZIA that includes 24 pieces of leather tools (beeswax, scissors, finger stall, needle kit, thimble, adjustable groover, 3 color threads and 4 types of awl). It is designed to meet the basic needs of every beginner and professional.
According to many positive reviews, we discovered online, it is one of the simplest and easy-to-use kits for custom work such as sewing paper, canvas, cloth, leather, and other creative projects! The fingerstall is made of soft leather and covers only the lower part of the finger causing less discomfort for the hand.
However, it still offers protection for the fingers and provides support when handling workpieces. It is both durable and simple to use, especially for beginners who are new to the craft and want to practice!
It comes with 2 different pressure cloth tooth, 4 pieces of stitching awl and leather groover which makes it easier to punch and sew leather. They are made of wood and steel. Meaning they will last forever! An ideal birthday, anniversary or “why not” surprise gift that will make every beginner in sewing happy!
Caydo 59 Pieces Leather Tools Kit
One of the top 3 kits for beginners and advanced users that will definitely impress you is the Caydo kit! It features 59 pieces of leather craft hand tools for hand sewing and stitching. It is practical, durable and rich. And comes with instructions for beginners. With Caydo you can sew any type of heavy-duty fabric.
Denim, canvas, fabric, leather, tarpaulin, you name it! You can make your own patterns and designs with the help of 20 PCs stamping punch tools. For example, you can make unique patterns on a wallet, belt or a handbag and so much more! Made of stainless steel, this set with 4 PCs prong punch will last forever!
It features 7 in 1 adjustable stitching groover that works as an edge creaser, stitching groover, stitching-hole spacer, rough edges trimmer, and bevel leather edges! It works amazingly with leather and canvas.
What Size Leather Machine Should I Buy?
When buying a leather sewing machine, there are two basic types of machine you need to keep in mind: industrial sewing machines and household sewing machines also known as residential sewing machines. Residential machines are usually all-in-one units that will allow you to finish basic leather sewing crafts.
Most of them can handle a leather that is about 3/16’’ thick if you work with the proper leather needles. However, if you want to sew anything thicker than this, you will need to invest in a commercial machine.
You will need to invest in a sewing machine with servo motor and a table to finish heavy-duty projects. Investing in a commercial machine comes with benefits such as increased maximum stitch length from 4-6mm to 8-10mm. Also, their stitching speeds go up to 2,500 SPM, unlike household sewing machines.
However, keep in mind that buying an industrial sewing machine is some sort of commitment. Unless you buy one with an automatic lubrication feature, you will need to oil our new toy after every usage or after days of it not being used. If you find this too complicated, do not buy an industrial sewing machine.
Household machines, on the other hand, are ideal for light leather creations. If you want to finish basic projects and not sew leather in the near future again, I suggest that you do not purchase a machine but hand sew your projects. However, keep in mind that hand-sewing is time-consuming, slow and difficult.
What is a Leather Sewing Machine Needle?
Sewing machine needles come in different packages. And buying the right sewing needle for your toy is a hard task, especially if you are a beginner and do not know what exactly are you looking for. However, that is why I am here to help. If you want to sew leather, you will need a special sewing needle for that.
Leather cannot be sewn with just any sewing needle. Also, not every sewing machine is suitable with any needle. For example, Singer sewing needles can be used on Singer machines only. Choosing the type and size of needles is necessary in order to create a good quality stitch, especially when it comes to leather.
Let’s review some of the common needle sizes. Keep in mind that the smaller the number, the finer the needle. The size of the needles is measured by their diameter. A 90 sewing needle is 0.9mm in diameter.
- Size 10 = 70
- Size 11 = 75
- Size 12 = 80
- Size 14 = 90
- Size 16 = 100
- Size 18 = 110
- Size 20 = 120
- 60 = Cotton lawn, silks, organza, and sheer fabrics
- 70 = Lining fabrics, cotton lawn
- 80 = Quilting cotton, cotton shirting
- 90 = Cushion fabrics, linen union curtain fabrics, linen, cotton sateen curtain linings
- 100 = Denim
- 110 = Upholstery fabrics and canvas weight fabrics, vinyl, PVC and leather
- 120 = Thick denim and heavy canvas, thick leather
Leather Sewing Machine Needles
Leather needles come spear shaped in order to help cut the material as the stitch is being created. If you sew faux leather or leather with a size 110 needle, your sewing machine will struggle. Meaning, a correct size leather needle helps your sewing machine to sew easily and provide a satisfying sewing experience.
Otherwise, your needle will break. In most cases, sewing needles break because they are not the correct size and type for the project that you are trying to finish. For example, if you try to sew denim with a size 70 needle, it will break. A denim needle is slightly angled at the end for penetrating the fabric with ease.
How Much Does A Good Sewing Machine For Leather Cost?
If you are planning on using faux leather or thin leather for your future sewing projects, I would suggest that you buy a household sewing machine, and standard machines usually cost around $250. Heavy duty projects require a machine with more advanced heavy duty features. And it might cost you around $500.
If you are interested in an industrial sewing machine, expect to pay around $1,500. However, you do not need a commercial grade sewing machine unless you deal heavy duty sewing projects on a regular basis.
The leather is one fabric that would never go out of style. And that is why you would, at one point or another, have to deal with sewing this tough and tricky fabric. That would require advanced sewing skills. But more than that, you need a sewing machine that is specifically made for leather.
Can You Use Your Home Sewing Machine To Sew Leather?
One of the most frequently asked questions among sewers who want to experiment with leather for the first time is whether they can use their current sewing machine for the purpose. And the answer is: No!
Not that is not possible but it is not recommended simply because home sewing machines have smaller engines. Also, they require weaker needles and we already know that leather requires stronger needles.
Household sewing machines serve different fabrics, while industrial sewing machines are designed with specific materials in mind and offer stability and durability. This means that if you are working with some lighter leathers such as the ones used for wallets and jackets, a domestic machine will get the job done!
However, if you are working with heavy-duty leathers or want to experiment with them in the future, it is recommended that you purchase an industrial leather sewing machine such as the ones we will review later in this article! However, how to tell the difference between a domestic and an industrial machine?
Domestic vs Industrial Sewing Machine
This is the first question that you would have to answer when choosing the best sewing machine for leather. To answer this, you need to understand the key differences between the two. That is what we will talk about in this section.
There are actually four main differences between these two machine types. The first point would be the engine. To be expected, domestic sewing machines have smaller engines and therefore, has lesser piercing power.
The second difference is the type of needle that the machine uses. Obviously, industrial sewing machines use stronger needles which can make penetrating heavy and thick material to be as easy as possible.
The third difference would be machine construction. Industrial machines are built for sewing leather all day long.
With that in mind, here is our recommendation. If you have a business that concerns leather sewing, you may need an industrial sewing machine. But if you just plan to use your sewing machine for leather just from time to time, you can settle with a domestic sewing machine.
Last but not least, the price ranges of these machine types are vastly different. With its more durable construction and a wider array of features, industrial sewing machines are a lot more expensive than that of domestic ones.
Things to Consider
Choosing between domestic and industrial sewing machine for leather can become quite difficult. But you can easily come to a great decision if you will consider the following factors:
- Buying Purpose
Why do you want to buy a sewing machine for leather? To answer that, here are a few more questions that you need to answer:
Are you a home crafter who uses leather fabrics? If yes, how often do you use such fabric? If yes, you may go for a domestic sewing machine.
Do you plan on experimenting with leather crafts? If you are and still don’t have any idea whether you will be working on leather in the long run, it is wiser to start with a domestic sewing machine then upgrade to an industrial sewing machine once you have made the decision.
Do you plan on starting a home-based business with leather fabrics as your main material? If yes, you should go for an industrial sewing machine.
Are you a leather product manufacturer or a tailor who is working on a commercial business or environment? If yes, then an industrial sewing machine is the best option for you.
- Machine Speed
The rate at which the machine can sew the fabric matters. This is most especially true if you are an entrepreneur dealing with leather products.
Of course, industrial leather sewing machines have a higher speed range of 1000 to 5000 stitches per minute. But please keep in mind that when it comes to dealing with heavy fabrics like leather, you must maintain a manageable speed so you can sew the fabric consistently and properly.
The key here is to go for a machine with adjustable speed so you can customize the speed depending on the type of fabric that you will use.
- Power Source
Heavy duty industrial sewing machines use a lot of power and are, therefore, not suitable for home use. If you are not careful in using this type of machine, it can blow up your monthly bills.
In addition to monthly electricity bills, you also have to understand the fact that industrial sewing machines require lots of voltage to work and the requirement may exceed the electrical output in residential properties.
If you plan to get a machine that uses a lot of power, you should hire an electrician to ensure that your source can provide you with the amount of electricity that you need. You can also go for sewing machines that come with convertible power sources that would make them suitable for home use.
- Noise Level
One thing you would notice about industrial sewing machines is that they produce more noise. If you use them in a factory, this won’t be an issue. But if you plan to use it in a residential setting, the noise level that these machines have can be disruptive for your neighbors.
If this is the case, it is recommended that you go for machines with quiet motors so you won’t have to deal with any neighbor issues.
- Motor Type
These sewing machines use two types of motors—servo motor and clutch motor. The clutch motors are generally noisy, but it is used in dealing with thicker fabrics. On the other hand, the servo motor is a lot quieter but works best on light to medium fabric.
- Feed Style
Most sewing machines for leather come with two feed styles—puller feed and walking foot feed. Most heavy duty machine uses the walking foot feed. This feed moves up and down to support the feed dog and facilitate easy passing of thicker fabrics. According to experts, the walking foot feed is a lot easier to operate as compared to puller feed.
Before you start making any purchase decisions, you need to ask yourself—how much can you afford? As mentioned, the industrial sewing machine is considerably more expensive than mechanical sewing machines. Of course, such expense comes with lots of benefits—more power, speed, and better durability.
- Machine Construction
What is the machine made of? Is it made of materials that are built to last? Keep in mind that you are investing hundreds to thousands of dollars in this machine so you have to make sure that they can withstand wear and tear for a long time.
Since you are dealing with thicker fabrics, you need a machine that is heavy. Go for ones that feature metal frame as such machines are created to last for long.
We know how expensive some leather sewing machines can get and that is why it is important to make sure that your investment is properly protected. Lucky for you, most of the sewing machine manufacturers offer product warranty for their machines.
Domestic sewing machines are often covered by a 25-year limited warranty while the warranty on industrial leather sewing machines is much shorter—2 to 5 years.
- Control Features
Sewing machines greatly vary when it comes to the control features that they offer, so it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with such controls before choosing your machine. You must make sure that the control features are suitable for the skill level that you have.
If you are a beginner, stick to basic features. If you are already an intermediate or expert sewer, you can go for fully automated or computerized sewing machines that offer plenty of advanced features.
Never use plastic sewing machines for leather as these will tend to jump and shake which will cause uneven stitching and even, the destruction of your fabric. Go for heavier ones so it remains sturdy regardless of how many layers of leather you will sew.
Type of Sewing Machine for Leather
You can choose between two main types of leather sewing machine on the market today.
The first one is industrial sewing machine.
And the second one is residental sewing machine. Residental sewing units are also known as all-in-one machines that will allow you to complete some basic leather projects. Most of these machines can handle a leather thickness of about 3/16 inches when you use the right needles.
If you want to sew something that is thicker than this, you will need to buy a commercial leather sewing machine. You will also need a table and a servomotor in order to finish off your complex leather project.
Buying a commercial sewing machine has a maximum stitch length from 4-6mm to 8-10mm and speeds of 2,500 stitches per minute. Also, industrial sewing machines do not require breaks while sewing to let your machine to cool down. Industrial sewing machines require less maintainance than domestic units.
Can Any Sewing Machine Sew Leather?
You can use any sewing machine to sew leather. It would beperfect to have an industrial walking foot machine for leather. If you use a regular sewing foot, it will glide across the leather and make it stretch.
Can You Use Regular Sewing Machine for Leather?
Yes, you can use a regular sewing machine for leather. However, I would not recommend this option. It is because leather crafting does not allow mistakes. If you make a stitch in the wrong place, you will ruin your material. This is because when you make a hole in a leather, it is permanent. It stays there forever.
Also, leather tends to stick to the throat plate or the presser foot of most standard sewing machines. It is possible to complete basic leather projects with a domestic sewing units. However, if you have a more complex leather project on hand, I would suggest that you buy a dedicated sewing machine for leather.
How to Set Up Machine for Leather?
The best way to set up your sewing machine is following the instructions that are specific to that model because all machines are different. However, if you do not have a manual to follow, refer to this tutorial.
How to Use Machine for Leather?
Using a sewing machine for leather requires the same skills as using a regular sewing machine. But since you are working with a thick material, you will need to use a nylon or polyester thread. Use a long stitch length when sewing leather and hold your leather in place without pins. Secure thread ends with a knot. If you want to learn a few tips and tricks on how to use a sewing machine for leather, follow this tutorial.
What Glue Works on Leather?
Gorilla superglue is one of the best fabric glue for leather. It is made for strength and can resist impacts such as dropping. However, this is not the only impressive glue for fabric and leather on the market. You can choose some of the products that I have reviewed in my dedicated article on best fabric glues.
Do I Need A Leather Repair Kit?
A leather kit usually features 10 to 15 accessories like leather patches, mixing tools, sponges, sandpaper, adhesive, swabs for application, grain paper and much more. Glue guns and pens might also be included in the kit. If you need a leather repair kit depends on your expectations and needs.
For example, a repair kit for leather can help you fix your leather but not make it brand new. Also, keep in mind that not every leather repair kit is a high-quality kit, so choose carefully. Refer to my reviews on best leather repair kits.
Some Basics of Sewing with Leather
Keeping a close eye on your thread tension is crucial. If you are using a regular sewing machine, it might try to stitch more tightly which can cause the thread to snap. Buying a machine specifically for working with leather will minimize this risk.
It’s essential not to skimp on your needles. Leather is predictably hard on needles so make it a rule of thumb to start a fresh project with a new needle. It’s not worth saving a few cents if you end up spoiling all your hard work by snapping the needle, jamming your expensive machine and ruining your garment all in one go!
Synthetic thread is generally better than cotton. Nylon and rayon are usually your best bets. In the case of your leather not sliding properly, some baby powder can be surprisingly effective.
If you are looking to sew with leather, it’s highly recommended that you get yourself this awesome set of presser feet to make your life easier whatever machine you use.
Before thinking about buying a new machine, honestly analyze your specific needs. Consider how you will use the machine and how much you have to spend. Buy the best sewing machine you can afford without overcommitting yourself.
We will look now at 23 of the best sewing machines for leather reviews so that you can confidently invest in exactly the right machine for you. We cover a wide range of styles and price points so that whatever you are looking for, you should have plenty of solid options.
But of course, there are plenty of essential features that even the most basic sewing leather machines should have. These are some of them:
- Speed Control
The hardest thing about working with leather is it such an unforgivable fabric. You can’t make mistakes when sewing them because it is impossible for you to fix them. After all, any marks of a needle or stitch are easily visible on leather.
But the faster your machine is, the higher the risk of committing a mistake. But once you get the hang of it, you can already master sewing on fabric at high speed. The key here is to use a machine with speed control. Even if you are still a newbie, this feature can provide you with an option that you can use when you already become a better sewer.
- Working Area and Lighting
The size and lighting of your working space can have a significant impact on the sewing process and results. If you are dealing with larger pieces of leather fabrics, you would need a machine with a long arm (working table), so you can easily pass the fabric on the needle.
If you plan to do precision stitching or quilting, work area lighting is of utmost importance. But if you are planning to create straight stitching, you can forego the lighting.
- Stitch Type
Basically, sewing machine for leather uses 7 stitch types. The most common of which is the plain stitch. Other commonly used stitches are chain, overlock, and loc stitch. If you are planning just to create simple leather projects, these stitch types are already enough.
You can also find other high-end sewing machines that offer as many as 600 stitch types. These would come handy for entrepreneurs who create complicated leather products.
- Right Presser Foot
Most sewing machines with different types of presser feet. If you are already adept with sewing leather, the more presser feet that you have, the better!
But if you are on a limited budget, there are three types of presser feet that you need. These are as follows:
1) Teflon/ Non-stick/ Silicone Presser Foot
Leather has a sticky feel. Because of this, it causes friction between the leather and the presser feet, making it harder for the fabric to feed properly through the sewing machine. This problem can affect the quality of stitches that you will create.
Using presser feet made of Teflon, silicone or another non-stick surface can solve this problem. And guess what? These feet are incredibly cheap!
2) Roller Presser Foot
This type of presser foot works the same as that of the non-stick foot. This foot features textured rollers that can facilitate the feeding of fabric into the machine.
3) Walking Foot
If you are dealing with multiple layers of leather, this is the type of foot that you should use.
- Powerful Motor
The more powerful the motor is, the heavier it is. If you are going to use a heavy fabric like leather, mechanical machines will give you the extra punch that you need.
- Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
Having the option to adjust the pressure of your presser foot allows you to achieve the perfect feed through your machine.
- High Presser Foot Lift
This will allow you to accommodate multiple layers of thick and heavy leather under your foot.
- Leather Needle
There are various types of sewing machine needles, each of which is specifically designed to work with different materials. The needle for leather is not like your standard sewing needle.
Generally, leather needles are around 80/12 to 110/18 in size, and they have a unique point shape. Instead of spear or ball, it has a wedge point. This design helps to penetrate leather without tearing them easily.
While the size of the needle is the reason why you can easily pierce through the fabric, it is also the main reason why you should be careful in sewing leather as it tends to leave a large hole in the fabric which you cannot cover up when you commit a mistake.
- Special Thread
Just like your needles, a typical thread will not work well on leather fabrics. For this type of project, you would need either polyester or nylon thread as these are a lot more durable and stronger.
Never use cotton thread as it can react with the tannin substances of leather which will cause it to dissolve eventually.
- Adjustable Stitch Length
When you are sewing leather, the longer the stitch, the better. This is why it is recommended that you go for a machine with adjustable stitch length. The maximum length should be 3 to 4 mm. Any stitch shorter than that can cause perforation and tear of your fabric.
After helping you choose the right sewing machine for your needs, our next goal is to help make sure that you can finish your leather projects in the easiest, most efficient and best way possible. That is why we have provided the answers to the most frequently asked leather sewing machine questions below:
My Top Pick
There are only a few sewing machines that are considered great for sewing leather and they are the products mentioned in this article. But which of these product is the best sewing machine for leather?
My pick would be the Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine because it has almost all the features needed to sew leather—high presser foot, heavy weight, metal construction, and powerful motor. In addition, its maximum stitch length is perfect for sewing leather. But what makes it a cut above the rest is its 3-piece feed dog that makes leather feeding as simple as possible.