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If you’re handling leather sewing projects, then you’ll need a specialized leather sewing machine.
Unlike the standard type, this special machine is capable of handling the extra strength and thickness that comes with leather, giving you an easy time when working on your projects.
That said, the trick to getting the best sewing machine for leather for your specific project lies in getting a machine that perfectly matches your specific needs.
And if you’ve never bought/used a leather machine before, you might find it tough trying to figure out which one to buy.
Luckily, our team of product experts have done an excellent job and found what really makes a good a leather sewing machine.
Additionally, we’ve carefully analyzed different machines on the market to pick the 8 top-rated models that will suit the needs of different sewists.
Let’s get into the details right away…
Do You Need a Leather Sewing Machine?
There’s no doubt that leather is the most durable material known to sewers. However, coming up with beautiful leather items isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have the right machine.
Some people think that it’s possible to sew leather using a standard material and save money in buying a new leather machine.
But the sad truth is that leather, being a heavy duty fabric, will easily damage your regular machine whose needles aren’t designed to handle such materials.
Even worse, a normal sewing machine cannot carry the thread from hole to hole. Instead, it makes multiple piercings. This isn’t good for leather because every single hole you make on it becomes permanent and cannot be unstitched (like in the case of cloth fabrics). This means you’ll end up with a damaged piece of leather. The safest way to sew leather without damaging it is using leather stitching machine as it’s specially engineered to handle materials.
Additional reasons why you need a special leather sewing machine include:
With that in mind, remember that you’ll need to be careful which machine you pick to ensure it addresses your specific leather sewing needs.
Below, we’ll take you through the 8 top-rated leather sewing machines for all types of sewing projects, for both beginners and experienced sewists.
10 Best Leather Sewing Machine Reviews:
1. SINGER | Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine
Opening our list of the top-rated leather sewing machine reviews is the SINGER | Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine. This is a heavy-duty sewing machine that will reliably handle all your leather sewing projects. It also falls within an affordable price range, making it the best deal for business owners with a tight budget.
The heavy-duty machine features a 60% stronger motor than the standard sewing machine. This is the single most crucial factor that transforms into a workhorse that easily sews through leather and any other heavyweight fabric known to humanity. It comes with an unrivaled piercing power and speed of up to 1100 stitches per minute—making it ideal for handling larger projects.
The heavy-duty frame used to design this machine enhances rigid stability and much-needed stability boost when sewing leather. Above all, it promotes longevity of the machine.
Despite its affordability, the machine also features an array of convenient features that will smoothly sail you through your sewing projects. These include a top drop-in bobbin, free arm built-in needle threader, built-in 1-step buttonhole, adjustable stitch length, on board storage, built-in reverse, adjustable presser foot pressure control, to name but a few.
A set of sewing machine accessories is also included in the box to help you get the most out of this machine.
2. Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
Janome HD3000 is also a heavy-duty leather sewing machine that enables you to work on your leather projects the right way. Slightly priced above the previous product, this machine comes with a list of user-friendly features to make it easy for you to operate.
The mechanical sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader to make it extremely easy for you to operate. It also comes with a jam-proof top-loading bobbin system to increases your effectiveness of swing heavy fabric such as leather. The 18 built-in stitches, with easy stitch selection, also makes the machine friendly to the users.
Other great features worth mentioning in this sewing machine include one-step buttonhole, Snap-On feet presser, extra high presser foot, reverse stitching feature, automatic bobbin winding system, thread tension adjustment, and free arm.
The included case allows you to easily carry your machine and all its accessories from one area to another.
3. Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 comes with all the features and functions that will help you fulfill your creativity dreams. It features up to 600 built-in stitches plus 13 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes, mirror imaging, and stitch elongation—all of which provide you with endless creative possibilities.
Getting to work with this machine is super-easy thanks to the easy and fast threading function, pre-set stitch width and length, built-in thread cutter, built-in needle threader, stitch editing capabilities, start/stop button, and the direct button stitch selection.
The computerized leather sewing machine features a large LCD screen to offers you an easy and unobstructed view of all your stitch functions (like stitch length and width, tension settings, needle up/down position, recommended presser foot, and so on). Thanks to the 2 Stay Bright LED light, your work area will always be excellently illuminated for optimal view.
We also can’t forget the extension table which translates into a larger work area for easy handling of larger projects.
This Singer has a ton of extra features to make it even more convenient for you to use. These include automatic bobbin winding system, automatic tension settings, center zigzag taper, direct stitch selection buttons, extra-high presser foot lift, built-in reverse, horizontal threading, optimum power control, and automatic presser foot pressure control.
Keep in mind that the machine chassis is made of heavy-duty metal for maximum stability when handling the demanding leather projects and for an extended lifespan.
4. Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 BASIC Walking Foot Sewing Machine
If looking for the best sewing machine for upholstery, this is your part. The Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 BASIC Sewing Machine is a perfect choice for all beginners who wish to sew leather, RV or automotive upholstery, sail making, canvas work, and other heavy-duty home sewing tasks.
The machine is capable of sewing both straight (for canvas work) and zigzag stitches (for sails). It is built using the toughest, most reliable parts, and has just the right power and ability to handle all your leather projects.
Before being released into the market, this machine was tried in real life sewing of up to 10 layers of heavy canvas as well as 8 layers of Dacron sailcloth, all of which it handles excellently.
This machine boasts of patented Posi-Pin clutching system, which ensures 100% power transfer form balance wheel to your needles for the best sewing results.
For convenient operation, this machine has an extra wide presser foot with integrated piping tunnel and an extra-high 3/8-in foot lift. It also allows you to vary the stitch length and width for the straight and zigzag stitches respectively.
One thing you’ll deficiently love about the manufacturer of this machine, Sailrite, is that they have world-class customer support. They’re always ready to help you in case of any issue with your computer. Inside the machine package, you’ll find a comprehensive user-guide for easy-start.
5. Brother XM2701 Lightweight, Full-Featured Sewing Machine
Incorporating a wide range of user-friendly features and a super-lightweight design, Brother XM2701 is the perfect machine for all beginners learning how to sew as well as the advanced sewers looking for a versatile and portable leather machine.
The machine offers you a total of 27 built-in stitches, which include decorative, blind hem, and quilting stitches. The one-step auto-size buttonholer ensures you obtain virtually perfect buttonholes in all your projects.
Designed with the absolute beginners in mind, this machine presents you with ease-of-use features like a built-in needle threader, automatic bobbin winding system, and a jam-proof quick-set top drop-in bobbin.
For user convenience, the machine also comes with 6 quick-change sewing feet (which consists of zipper, zigzag, buttonhole, blind stitch, narrow hemmer, and button sewing foot). The included free arm makes it makes it easy for you to sew sleeves, cuffs, and even pant legs.
Inexperienced users will find the instructional DVD and guidebook included in this package quite helpful. Besides, Brother promises FREE technical online and phone support for the entire life of the product.
6. Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine
Janome Sewist 500 Sewing Machine makes it possible and easy for you to sew leather. And the great price makes it easy to afford for all sewists. The highly versatile machine has everything you need to come up with great leather made products, whether you’re a hobbyist or professional dressmaker.
It comes with a total of 25 built-in stitches, an automatic 1-step buttonhole, and a convertible free arm—which join hands to enable you to sew leather with the ultimate ease.
Practical features like a top loading bobbin with see-thru window adjustable presser foot pressure and built-in automatic needle threader make creating with Sewist 500 machine effortless.
A bunch of accessories is shipped together with this machine to help you handle all types of leather sewing tasks without having to invest more cash in additional accessories.
Don’t forget that the manufacturer also ships this machine to with a hard carry case that makes it convenient and easy for you to take this machine (and its accessories too) to any place you wish.
7. Consew 206RB-5 Triple Feed, Heavy Duty, Single Needle
Consew 206RB-5 Triple Feed comes at number 7 as another top-rated heavy duty sewing machine for leather. This machine is capable of sewing on leather and many other light to heavyweight fabrics—including sails, covers, umbrellas, tarpaulins, vinyl, upholstery, among others.
As you might have noted, most leather sewing machines out there which offer you a stitch length of around 5-6mm. This Consew doubles this figure to provide you with an extra-long stitch of up to 10mm that’s ideal for leather sewing. Another unique feature that makes this machine a favorite for many involves the thread release finger, suitable for the heavy threads you’ll be using when sewing leather.
Its bobbin comes designed such that you can easily remove it without necessarily removing the material you’re sewing!
The industrial grade machine comes with all the convenient features and functionalities you’ll need to work on all types of leather sewing projects. Also, keep in mind that its essential add-ons, like walking feet, needles, etc., can be interchanged with the Consew 226R-2, 255RB-2 machines.
8. Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Walking Foot Sewing Machine
For sewers who often find themselves with bigger workloads every day, you should look for a high-speed machine that increases the efficiency at which you work on your project. And that machine is the Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Sewing Machine.
Incorporating a super-powerful Servo motor, this high-end leather machine operates a crazily high speed of up to 2000 stitches per minute. This means it’ll enable you to finish your huge sewing workload within a shorter period of time that you’d do with other machines.
You’ll also appreciate the Uberlight 3000TL light which light up the sewing area. As such, you will not have to strain your eyes when sewing your items, even if you’re dealing with dark leather.
Similar to all the other machines we’ve featured on this list, this machine also provides you with additional tools to make it convenient to run it—including a large capacity hook, single row feed dog, 14mm row feed dog, and 14mm foot lift.
The included user manual ensures that those who have never used a heavy duty leather machine before have an easy time operating the Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Sewing Machine.
9. Tacsew GC6-6 Walking Foot Feed Industrial Upholstery Sewing Machine
We’re almost winding up our list of top-rated leather sewing machine reviews. We’ve got the Tacsew GC6-6 Sewing Machine occupying our second last spot. Though featuring a slightly less speed of 1600 stitches per minute, this model is also great for handling bigger leather workloads with high efficiency and in a short period of time.
Ideal for beginners and professionals alike, this machine a straight lockstitch to make it easy to use for all skill levelers. It also features a top and bottom feed that helps prevent slippage between layers of leather.
Other features like the large bobbin, longer stitch length (0-8mm), and reverse function make the machine even more suitable for handling your heavy duty leather sewing projects.
And unlike most machines whose maintenance requires effort (i.e., lubricating all the inner parts of the machine), this model comes with an integrated automatic lubrication system. Needless to mention, this eliminates manual lubrication and makes it easy to maintain.
10. Juki DNU-1541 Industrial Walking Foot Sewing Machine
Finally, we have the Juki DNU-1541 Industrial Sewing Machine. Also a heavy-duty sewing machine, this model requires only one needle to help you sew your leather items to perfection.
What you’ll love most about this machine is its unrivaled speed. It works at a fantastic rate of 2,500 stitches per minute, making it the best option for people who have many leather items to sew every day (say, the professional sewers).
It also comes with a dual tension mechanism. For those who don’t know, this is a pretty helpful feature when sewing leather as it allows you to come up with higher-quality stitches through the heavyweight leather and other materials.
As an electric powered model, this machine requires a power source of 110V to run the 750-watt industrial clutch servo motor.
While most manufacturers require you to buy a swing table separately, Juki has included a quality table in the Juki DNU-1541 package, at no extra fee! For easy start, you’ll also find a detailed user manual on how to operate the machine.
Leather Sewing Machine Buying Guide: What To Know?
When looking for the best sewing machine for leather, you’ll need to come up with a way of sorting out the many machines on the market to help you pick just the right model for you.
Below, We’ve outlined the most crucial factors that will help you narrow down your choices when buying a leather sewing machine:
One of the key aspects that define a good sewing machine for leather is the quality of its construction.
Given that the sewing machine is a considerable investment, you should consider looking for a model made of quality materials; the chassis in particular should be made of heavy-duty metal. This will ensure that the machine will serve you for a longer period of time.
In addition to this, heavy-duty construction contributes to the extra stability a heavy duty leather sewing machine needs to work on the heavyweight leather fabrics.
Type of Motor
The motor is everything in any leather sewing machine you buy. the type of motor that comes with a machine directly determines its ability to handle the thick and tough leather material.
That said, the most ideal motor for working on leather is the clutch motor. The downside of this motor is that it does produce a lot of noise. But this won’t be an issue if you’re using your machine in a large garment factory
If you’re working on lighter leather, however, you might consider going for servo motors. These motors are known to offer you greater flexibility regarding sewing speed.
The servo motor produces less noise, so it’s also ideal for home sewing machines.
Keep your skill level in mind when picking a machine. If you don’t have much sewing experience, it doesn’t make sense going for a complicated model with a ton of advanced features.
Instead, you should look for a simple model with just the basic features to help you learn the game.
If you’re an experienced sewer, then you can get an advanced model with all the advanced features to help you come up with appealing leather items.
Ease of use
You should also ensure that the machine you’re planning to buy is easy for you to operate.
The ideal machine should come with easy to use dials and other parts. It should also be accompanied by a compressive user guide on how to operate.
Most of the manufacturers are nowadays offering their customers instructional DVDs for easy use. Others offer online tutorials to give their customers an easy time using their products.
The speed is also a crucial factor to consider when looking for the perfect sewing machine for leather.
Apparently, the speed you choose of the machine you go with should be directly linked to the amount of work you plan to handle on a daily basis.
Sewers who usually find themselves with a big project to work should look for a high-speed machine that enables them to tackle their workload quickly. Anything between 1000 and 5000 stitches per minute will meet the needs of most heavy-duty machine users.
For home or enthusiast sewers, a machine with low or moderate speed will be convenient to handle your smaller workload.
Even when a machine comes with the best build quality, it might not be enjoyable to use if it doesn’t come with any convenient features.
That’s why you’re advised to look for features geared toward making a leather machine user-friendly and more convenient to use.
Some of the key features you’ll find in most models include a brightly lit work area, automatic needle threader, built-in stitches, automatic buttonhole, to name but a few.
As you’ve seen from our products reviews section, all the machines we’ve mentioned come with an array of accessories.
This goes a long way toward saving you extra cash you might need to spend buying these accessories. Moreover, having such accessories will help you increase the effectiveness of your machine and get the most out of it.
Some models even come with a hard carry case for easy transportation of your machine and all its accessories to any place.
The cost of a sewing machine leather tends to vary from model to model, depending on factors such as the key features, the manufacturers, and so on.
If you come up with a budget before heading for shopping, it’ll help you narrow down your list to products that you’ll be able to afford.
When coming up with a budget, remember that a too cheap machine can turn out to be a piece of junk that might not meet your expectations and end up disappointing you.
The higher your budget, the fancier the machine you’ll get.
Pro Tip: If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a new model, you might consider looking around for a secondhand model. Your friends or family members will be a good starting point when looking for s used model. Likewise, you can check sites like eBay for used leather sewing machines for sale.
How To Sew Leather?
After getting that brand-new, best sewing machine for leather shipped to your doorstep, the next thing you’d want to take is learning how to use it.
Luckily, most manufacturers ship their products with full instructions on how to use their machines. This means you’ll not have a problem running your machine if you’re a novice.
Furthermore, sewing with leather will not be difficult if you already know how to sew.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a brief guide below that points out the most important thing you need to keep in mind when sewing with leather.
(i). Things you’ll need
Before you start sewing with leather, you’ll need a few items as listed below:
(ii). Cutting leather correctly
Now that you’ve all the items at hand and the item you want to create in mind, the next step involves cutting the leather to obtain the needed seems for sewing.
Cutting leather is a bit different from cutting cloth fabrics.
Unlike the fabrics, the leather doesn’t come with the traditional grain lines. This means you won’t have to honor any grain lines. However, it comes with nap which you’d want to be highly cautious of during the cutting process.
Using a rotary cutter, cut your pieces, one layer at a time. And remember to use clips and not pins during the cutting process.
After cutting, it’s highly advisable to closely examine your hide for any weaknesses or flow before laying out the pieces. It (interfacing is always a good method of stabilizing the weaker areas).
If you’re making patterns, consider transferring all your markings on the wrong side of the hide. Use a marking pen or tailor’s chalk for this job.
It’s also worth noting that leather is generally more stable toward the center and weaker as you move to the edges. Thus, you should consider using the pieces cut from the center for the most important parts of your project.
(iii). Sewing leather (Things to Remember)
By now you already have your pieces well cut and ready for use.
Before you can actually sew them, here is a list of hand leather sewing TIPs to keep in mind:
(iv). Finalizing your project (seams and finishes)
Good news is that there are no chances of fraying in leather items, unlike what we usually get in fabric projects. This eliminates the need for pinking or serging.
As for finishing the seams, there are many ways of doing. Let’s discuss the two top options below:
Method #1: You just sew the seam and then press open with your fingers or even use the iron (with low heat) and press cloth. Secure each seam using a row of topstitching on either side of the middle seam. Trimming the seams can help reduce the bulk.
Method #2: this is good for sewists who want to obtain cleaner seams. It involves using a leather adhesive (or contact cement for stronger seals) to glue your seam flat and open.
You sparingly apply the glue to the seam and then flatten it using a roller.Likewise, our detailed buying guide will reveal to you how to separate wheat from the chaff when shopping for a leather machine—ensuring you take home a quality leather machine.
10 FAQs About Leather Sewing!
1. Which sewing machine is the best leather sewing machine?
The ideal machine for leather is the one specially made for working on leather projects. Such a model comes with all the key accessories and the quality construction that will make it easy for you to work on your leather projects.
Our list of the top-rated sewing machines will introduce you to the 8 such machines on the market today.
2. Can I use a standard sewing machine to sew leather items?
Some sewers have admitted using a standard sewing machine to sew leather. However, using this type of machine comes with its fair share of challenges like your leather sticking on the presser foot, light and less secure stitch work, etc.
Instead of going through all this hell, it’s always advisable to invest in a machine specially designed for leather sewing. This will make your work easy and boost your productivity (especially if you usually handle huge leather projects.
3. Is it possible to sew in leather?
Yes, sewing leather is 100% possible, ONLY if you’ve got the right machine for the job. Check our reviews above for the top-best machines that you can use to sew leather easily.
4. can you sew faux leather?
Yes, just the same you can sew real leather, you can also sew leather.
5. What is the best brand that makes industrial grade leather sewing machines?
An industrial grade leather sewing machine is designed to handle more demanding leather projects, say in the commercial settings.
The top brands that produce top-quality heavy-duty leather swing machines include Brother, Singer, Janome, Sailrite, and the Juki.
6. How do you glue leather?
It’s not always possible or easy to stitch your leather pieces together during sewing. In such cases, you’ll need to use a leather glue to bring the parts together. A good example involves finishing the seams in your leather project, where you might need to use this glue for the job.
Check this guide on how to glue leather using a leather-specific glue.
7. How do you embroider on leather?
Embroidering on leather is one of the hardest parts for most embroiders. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you follow the basics and carry out your job with extra care, you’ll end up with fantastic embroidery on your leather projects.
Check the video below for handy tips on how to embroider on leather.
8. How do you cut leather?
Being able to cut leather is one of the crucial skills you’ll need to learn when working on leather projects. Our guide above on how to sew leather outlines some powerful tips on how to properly cut leather.
In addition to that, you can check the following leather cutting video tutorial:
10. What kind of thread do you use for leather?
Everything in leather sewing projects is different from the cloth fabrics, including the type of thread you use. The most common threads recommended for leather threading include nylon and polyester threads.
Nothing handles your leather sewing projects better than a specialized leather sewing machine.
As we’ve stated several times in this post, however, there are many leather sewing machines on the market today. It’s important to keep in mind that different machines are designed to meet different sewing needs. Also, different machines come with different qualities, specifications, and levels of effectiveness.
For this reason, you should be mindful of the type of machine you choose so that you don’t end up feeling like you’ve wasted all your money on a piece of junk that doesn’t work for you.
Our list of the 8 top-rated machines currently available on the market will give you a good start point when looking for the best leather sewing machine for you.