There are plenty of machines that can sew thick fabrics, but it takes a certain product to be able to call itself a sewing machine for leather. One thing for sure is that is is going to have to have a sturdy metal housing, and the ability to push out plenty of stitches per minute to ensure it has the power and speed.
This is not something that a lot of sewing machines can boast, making it difficult to find the ideal product. Because of this, we have created a list of the very best sewing machines for leather. There is something for every budget but what they all have in common is the ability to get through this tough material without an issue.
The 7 Best Sewing Machines For Leather
#7 Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 18 Built-In Stitches + Hard Case
This machine from Janome has proven to be a popular one for those looking to sew leather since it has a heavy-duty build and 18 built-in stitches. There is a built-in needle threader and a hardcover to protect it from dust. Being able to adjust the thread tension is important for sewing thick materials and this is a machine that makes it easy, giving the user plenty of options as well.
With snap-on presser feet, free arm capability, and a light to make it easier to sew with accuracy, a lot is going for it. Although other machines might have more complex features, the simplicity of this one is part of its strength.
#6 Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 50 Built-in Stitches
Another Strong and tough machine from Brother, this time with 50 built-in stitches and an LCD display that makes it easy to navigate between settings. Getting started is easy with the automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin feature. There are 9 sewing feet included but it is heavyweight sewing needles that will be most useful for anyone looking to get through the leather.
The improved fabric feed is also noticeable, helping move a variety of materials through smoothly without skipping stitches. There are a wide stitch selection and an included foot pedal. All in all, this is a machine that can do pretty much anything without any fuss. Some might call it a workhorse, but all we know is it gets the job done.
#5 Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
One of the more reasonably priced leather sewing machines, this is easy to use and comes with 14 built-in stitches. Other products might offer more, but it is good to have the option of products that are not overloading the user with features. The body is made from cast aluminum making it capable of delivering enough power to get through thick materials with ease.
This also reduces the vibrations, making it a comfortable machine to use without shaking from one end of the table to another. It comes with a selection of presser feet and free motion applications and the automatic needle threader helps get things going. A hard-sided cover is included to protect it from bumps and dust and there are manual thread tension control and a 3 piece dog feed to make for a smoother feed of ay fabric.
#4 SINGER Heavy Duty 4411 with 69 Stitch Applications
One of the simpler sewing machines for leather but it has the power that is needed to get through thick materials. It is another Singer with a steel bedplate to add to its durability and power with a 50% more powerful motor than your standard sewing machine in the range. The 11 built-in stitches might not be enough for everyone but if you just want a versatile machine that can get through leather, it is an excellent option.
Its 1,100 stitches per minute mean it is fast and the adjustable presser foot control makes it easier to use than most. A lot of users comment on its stability as it doesn’t shake as much as a lot of other products, ensure skip-free sewing no matter what fabric is being used.
#3 Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough
The words strong and tough are music to the ears of anyone looking to sew leather and that’s what customers get with the Brother ST371HD. There are an automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin to get things started fast and 37 built-in stitches. There are 6 presser feet included to open up plenty of possibilities as well as an instructional DVD.
The free arm feature makes it easy to work on larger projects and it has enough power to get through tough materials such as leather but also thick layers of fabric. This is guaranteed since the heavyweight needles that are included are well suited to such projects. With 800 stitches per minute and a 25-year limited warranty, it has all the hallmarks of a quality sewing machine for leather.
#2 SINGER Heavy Duty 4432 110 Stitch Applications
A lot of people will argue that this is the best leather sewing machine because of the price and it certainly packs a punch. There are loads of presser feet included with everything from an all-purpose foot, zipper foot, and more. There is also a variety of needles included so it should be easy to get a leather project going. This is going to be especially easy with the automatic needle threader.
Included is a soft-sided cover to protect it from dust and a reverse mode to reinforce stitches. The stainless steel bedplate adds to the quality feel and the motor is 60% stronger than your standard sewing machine. This helps it push out a big 1,100 stitches per minute so the piercing power and speed are there.
#1 SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
With 600 built-in stitches and plenty of power, this is the best sewing machine for leather overall. Not only is it packed with accessories but the features are easy to use thanks to the LCD screen. There is everything from your basic stitches to the likes of home decor and quilting and with 850 stitches per minute, it is capable of moving along fabric fast.
There are 13 buttonhole options and plenty of presser feet included with a built-in needle threader to help every new project get off to a quick start. A lot of people will find the heavy-duty metal frame to be exactly what they need to get through tough materials like leather and it is this feature also ensures it won’t vibrate so much. All this combines for a comfortable sewing experience with plenty for a beginner or more advanced sewer to enjoy.
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Sewing Machines For Leather Guide
When it comes to finding a heavy-duty sewing machine for leather, the promise of a strong machine isn’t enough. There are other features required to ensure it is going to be capable of getting through thick materials, and be able to keep up. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but this also makes finding the perfect one difficult.
To help make life easier, we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, finding a quality sewing machine for leather will be a lot simpler.
What To Look For In A Sewing Machine For Leather
Stitches Per Minute
This isn’t all you need to look for, but it is important. Any sewing machine that can push out hundreds of stitches in quick succession is often the sign of a well-built machine and one that must have the backing of sturdy components. A good indication is any machine with around 800 stitches per minute and above. It is not uncommon for machines to be able to stitch well over a thousand stitches a minute, but anything in this range is going to be sufficient for most.
Because you need the power to be backed with some weight behind it, the better options for sewing leather are made with a metal frame. This can be aluminum or steel but anything that is going to not only push that bit harder through thick materials but absorb a lot of the vibrations is going to make for a more comfortable sewing experience.
A good sign when looking for a strong machine is one that comes with thick needles. The intended use is always thick layers of fabric or the likes of leather. When you see these included in a sewing machine, it can mean it can push harder as long as it has other attributes such as the heavy-duty frame.
Although some products com with multiple presser feet, the main thing to look for is the right presser foot. Although not everyone will come with a walking foot or roller foot, if it can be purchased separately then this can be useful. Because most people don’t solely use a sewing machine for leather, it is good to have other options for different projects.
These presser feet also make it easier to move sticky fabrics like leather through smoothly.
Sewing any material can tricky without the right lighting which is why a lot of products will come with an LED light. Not only does this help cut down on the electric bills, but it shines a light where you most need it. Most bulbs tend to last for years as well which is a bonus.
This is partly down to the frame again, but. taking all the components that make up a sewing machine for leather into account, it is good to have a product with a bit of weight behind it. This will make it stronger and capable of getting through thick materials. Usually, a machine that is around 8 pounds or heavier is going to be enough.
Automatic Needle Threader
Anything that will make life easier is going to be useful for a sewing machine for leather and it all starts with the threader. This can be a tricky task for sewers of all levels so having an automatic system can get every project off the ground in seconds. The same goes for a drop-in top bobbin that is jam-proof.
This is less important with leather than it is for other projects but assuming most people like to use a versatile machine, having a handful at least can add a little flair to certain sewing tasks. Another bonus is a product that makes it easy to switch between the stitches.
Tips For Using A Sewing Machine For Leather
Test Before You Start
With different fabrics, it is always a good idea to test before getting started. This will make it easier to tell if the needle, presser foot, and every other setting is right for a new project. Use a small corner or a cut off that you use for finding the right tension.
Be Sure To Use The Right Needle
The same goes for the thread. The last thing you want is to get around the whole project, only to find the stitching isn’t thick and strong enough. A thick needle is needed for getting through leather, but not every thick needle is big enough. Use heavy-duty thread for anything such as leather and denim.
Change The Presser Feet
Using the correct presser feet is a must for leather. not only does it have to be raised enough to accommodate the thicker material, but also smooth to allow the tacky material to get through. This is why. a lot of people recommend a walking foot in this case.
How Much Does A Sewing Machine For Leather Cost?
Although these machines need to be built differently from a standard machine, a heavy-duty machine doesn’t have to cost a lot. This is why it is possible to find quality products around the $300 mark.
Although these machines will do an excellent job of getting through leather, there is something to be said for spending a little more. Going up to $500 can get a faster machine, with more options in terms of built-in stitches and other features.
Can You Use A Regular Sewing Machine For Leather?
The short answer is yes. A lot of the products we recommend are regular machines that are built that little bit sturdier to be able to stitch thick materials. As long as it has a metal frame and will work with thick needles then it should. be able to work with leather.
Always be sure to check before you buy as pushing a sewing machine harder than it is capable of can lead to breakages. Remember that with thick materials, most machines aren’t ready to go and will require some modifications such as changing the presser feet and needles before starting.