Best Sewing Machines For Leather

Best Sewing Machines For Leather is about finding out if your regular home sewing machine is strong enough for sewing leather, or if you need to move up to an industrial machine.

What Type Of Sewing Machine Is Best For Sewing Leather?

The best answer to this, depends on what thickness of leather you’re going to be sewing. If using a thin leather to make a purse or wallet, etc. Then some of the heavy-duty home machines will work just fine.

If you’re sewing leather for saddles, a knife sheath or anything where the leather is more than 3/16 inch thick then it’s best to use an industrial machine.

Best Sewing Machines For Leather

We will mention some of the best sewing machines you can use for sewing leather.

1 – Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing MachineSewing Machines For Leather

We think this is a good investment because HD stands for heavy-duty, and this machine has a heavy-duty metal frame under the hood that won’t ever fall apart, and can sew through multi layers of denim and the thinner leather with ease.

Not a computerized machine, so is very easy to set up and start sewing.

We will mention it’s features below:

  • Adjustable stitch length up to 4 mm
  • Adjustable stitch width up to 6.5 mm
  • Has free arm, which is good bonus for some of your leather projects.
  • Has 18 built-in stitches.
  • Top loading bobbin, and auto needle threader.
  • High lift presser foot for your thicker fabrics.
  • Snap on presser feet, and we will mention here that sewing leather works better with a Teflon foot or roller foot, which will glide over the leather.

About the only negative is some sewers found it a bit loud when sewing thin materials.

Read the Janome HD3000 Sewing Machine full review here.

2 – Singer HD4423

Sewing Machines For Leather

This heavy-duty model by Singer is strong enough to easily sew through denim, canvas, and leather, with it’s powerful motor.

As this machine is not computerized, it’s also very easy to set up for your sewing projects.

We will mention it’s features below:

  • This model has the free arm, and a stainless steel bed plate, so your material will slide easily while sewing.
  • There is a top loading, drop in bobbin to make threading this machine very easy, along with the auto needle threader.
  • It has a maximum stitch length of 4 mm.
  • It has a maximum stitch width of 6 mm.
  • With it’s 23 built-in stitches, and a sewing speed of 1100 stitches per minute this machine can handle your sewing projects with ease, and comes at a very reasonable price.

About the only negative is that it is probably not the best for a beginner sewer

Read the Singer HD4423 Sewing Machine full review here.

3 – Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Sewing Machines For Leather

This is a strong sewing machine that can do thick seams, multiple layers of fabric, and your thinner leather plus is not overly expensive to buy.

We will mention it’s features below:

  • Has a metal needle plate for a smooth fabric feed, and the free arm for sleeves, cuffs, etc.
  • Included with it’s 6 presser feet, is a nonstick foot for when you’re sewing leather, vinyl or suede, and a spring action zigzag foot for sewing thicker seams.
  • The machine comes with 37 built-in stitches, which is enough for most of your projects, and is also supplied with a #16 needle for sewing the heavier fabrics such as leather.

Related: Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine full review.

4 – Singer 4452HD Sewing Machine

Sewing Machines For Leather

This is a strong mechanical sewing machine, with a heavy-duty interior metal frame, and a 60% stronger motor than your standard sewing machine.

It’s an easy to set up machine, and is not computerized, so you’re learning curve is short.

We will mention it’s features below:

  • It has 32 built-in stitches, and an adjustable stitch width up to 6 mm.
  • The free arm allows for sewing cuffs, pants, etc.
  • It has the top loading bobbin, and automatic needle threader to make things easier when setting it up.
  • Does 1100 stitches per minute.
  • Has a stainless steel bed plate for the smooth feeding of fabrics, and does come with a size 16 needle for your leather sewing.
  • This machine will sew from lightweight materials to the more heavy fabrics, and comes at a very reasonable price.

Related: Singer 4452 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine full review

5 – Janome HD1000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Sewing Machines For Leather

This is another home machine that is able to sew leather, with a strong 1.0 amp motor, and industrial grade aluminum body.

We will mention it’s features below

  • It has 14 stitches built-in, and a 4 step buttonhole.
  • Not computerized, and is very easy to set up with a built-in needle threader.
  • There is a free arm when you need to sew those hard to reach places like cuffs, pants, sleeves, etc.
  • The machine comes with a 4 presser feet that are the easy snap on and off type, and are able to lower the feed dogs for free motion sewing.
  • It has the extra high lifter for the presser feet when sewing thick fabrics.
  • It will sew up to a speed of 840 stitches per minute, and the stitch length is adjustable up to 4 mm.
  • This machines is not overly expensive and can sew the finer and the thicker fabrics such as leather, or denim or suede.

About the only negative is that it is a front loading bobbin, which will take a little time to get used to.

Industrial Sewing Machines For Leather

We will mention a couple of the stronger machines as they can sew leather of around 3/16 of an inch thick, and they also have a higher price tag.

1 – Juki DDL-8700 Sewing Machine

Sewing Machines For Leather

This machine is recommended by Juki to sew light to medium fabrics and is not intended for leather or canvas.

The think is that many users have used it for upholstery, leather, vinyl and other heavy fabrics with zero problems as long as you use the right needles and feet for your material.

  • Sews at 5500 stitches per minute, and a maximum stitch length of 5 mm.
  • Is a single needle straight stitching machine.
  • Has an industrial motor, which is clutch driven, but also can have a Servo Motor, which is quieter running, and this machine is built to last.
  • It weighs about 125 pounds, so will not be easy to move around, and has around 11 inches of work space from the needle to the neck.
  • Presser foot can be lifted by a lever or by your knee to provide a 1/4 inch of space.

About the only negative is that it’s a heavy machine.

2 – Encore 1541S

This is an industrial sewing machine that comes with a 1/2 HP Serve motor, and a table to set it up on.

It’s a single needle machine which can do high tension sewing with thick threads, and will produce excellent stitches in your heavyweight materials.

We will mention it’s features:

  • This machine will sew at speeds up to 2500 stitches per minute.
  • The stitch length is adjustable from 0 to 9 mm
  • The presser foot lift by the knee lift is 16 mm, and 9 mm by hand.
  • It has a working area of 25 x 100 mm and has a weight of 80 pounds, so will not be easy to move around.

To buy the encore 1541S Sewing Machine is always better to call the sewing machine dealer in your area.

Sewing Machine Needles For Leather

Having the correct size needle and type for sewing leather is very important, and usually go with the ones recommended for your brand of sewing machine.

Needles from 100 to 120 will work well with your heavier materials.

What Thread Is Best For Sewing With Leather?

Your ordinary thread will not work too well on leather, it is best to sew with polyester or nylon, because the ordinary threads can have a reaction with the tannin in leather, and fall apart in time.

Sewing Machines For Leather

What Presser Feet Is Best For Sewing With Leather?

Another Helpful item to have is the correct presser feet, because a regular foot often sticks to leather, it is recommended to use a Teflon foot, or roller foot that glides over the leather easily.

How To Know If You Need A Industrial Sewing Machine Or A Home Use Sewing Machine For Leather?

When you have in your projects to make just one or a few projects with thin leather, you will be OK with your home use sewing machine. But when you have in mind to start making regularly a project with thin or thicker leather, as a business, then an industrial sewing machine that is recommended for leather will be better for you, as it is designed and build strong enough to help you to work on your projects with ease in less time.

Is Making Sewing Projects With Leather Good For Beginners?

From my point of view, sewing with leather is not as simple as sewing with different types of fabric whether they are thin or thick materials.

When you work with leather to make different sewing projects, you need to learn the trade first, if you’re a beginner and you have in mind to start sewing with leather for your personal use or for business, I will recommend for you to take your time to work on different easy to make projects before you start working on a product production.

Give yourself time enough to learn hot to handle leather while sewing, try some different types of leather (genuine or synthetic) until you feel happy with your final product, before you put some money on a sewing machine.

Final Thoughts On Sewing Machines For Leather

As leather can be difficult to sometimes sew, we recommend testing things out on a scrap piece first.

As there are not a huge amount of sewing machines that are good at sewing leather, we hope this article has helped you in your decision to go into the leather sewing field, and some of the best machines for your leather projects whether industrial or a home sewing machine.

Wishing you all the best on your sewing projects – Happy Sewing

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Sewing Machines For Leather

7 thoughts on “Best Sewing Machines For Leather”

  1. Hi Alex. Thank you for another great review. To be fair I have never thought about using sewing machines for leather, and I didn’t even know that such machines are available for home users. But looking on your post this is interesting opportunity to do something new. Brother looks as a good option, easy to use, from solid company and price is really reasonable. Looking forward to test it in practice.

  2. This is a very helpful post on the best sewing machines for leather. Although I do a lot of sewing, I have only once made a jacket using leather. I used my normal Singer sewing machine and used a leather needle, and an even-feed foot, which worked well. But in saying that, the leather was not too thick. 

    So I can certainly say that if you are working with thicker leather or sewing leather on a regular basis, you will need a stronger machine. I didn’t realise that the sewing thread is so important, so I will remember that for next time I sew with leather. 

  3. Wow, very brief and brilliant review and easy to understand too. I am more acquainted with home-based sewing machines and barely seen these industrial heavy-duty machines. Most of my pals who are tailors and sewers make cloths and the few that do leather shoes still use home-based sewing machines. It’s quite a pity because they can’t afford it especially in those remote parts of Africa. However, your reviews and knowledge will be most welcome by them since it is their passion and occupation. I hope the best sewing machines you outlined can be affordable by them.
    From your explanation, you forgot to mention the number of stitches per minute for some of these sewing machines like the Brother ST371HD, and the Janome HD3000. 

    Talking about the sewing machines, I will go for the Singer HD4423 because of the price, its free arm, and the high speed of more stitches per minute.

  4. Thank you very much for this insights on sewing machine and needles. I have managed my present machine but seams it’s begin to weary out because it’s not meant for leathers. I think  Brother st371 HD with its metal needle Plate and it’s 37 stitches will be a good fit for my work. Many of our fabrics comes in double layers. I will check in via your link 

  5. Hi, thanks for this article on sewing machine for leather. I do not know much about sewing but I always thought that you could use any sewing machine to sew any clothing material. But I have learned that leather can be difficult to sew and there are special sewing machines fit for it as outlined in the article. thanks again.

  6. These all look like great sewing machines for leather! As a beginner, which product do you recommend the most? It sounds like the Singer 4452HD sewing machine is probably the best sewing machine for me to get started with. I’ll take your advice on starting with scrap pieces of leather and learning the trade. It’s definitely not a good idea for a complete newbie like me to jump right into product production. Thanks for the awesome article!

  7. Thank you very much for sharing your review, it has been very informative. Sometimes we just assume because we have a sewing machine it will work for all fabrics. To supply anyone with with quality items, you must use good tools. Getting the correct machine and thread will certainly assist in the quality of whatever you decide to make.

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