Best Sewing Machine for Leather

best sewing machine for leatherThere is no doubt leather is one of the finest and fashionable materials for creating great and excellent masterpieces. The use of leather has grown exponentially over the years. But leather is hard to stick through the needle due to its thickness and resistance. Most hobbyists can sew leather with the regular sewing machine using a foot and a special needle. But if you want to sew leather like a professional; you don’t need the average sewing machine since they are not made to handle leather materials. What you need is a sewing machine specifically designed for leather projects.

For those who want to turn professional and the professional alike, it can be challenging choosing the right sewing machine for leather. This article will provide you with a detailed roadmap to help you make a good choice. After more than 72 hours of research, we have selected the top-quality and best sewing machine for leather. Read on as we make a review of the 10 best sewing machines to effectively handle any leather projects.

 

Top 10 Leather Sewing Machines

SINGER 4423 Sewing Machine

Sew leather materials like an expert with the SINGER 4423. The heavy-duty machine can tackle heavier fabrics like leather and denim with its 50% extra speed and power at a pocket-friendly price tag. Made from the all-metal frame, there is no doubt this machine is truly a workhorse. When it comes to performance, the machine produces an exceptional result with its powerful motor. The machine has got enough speed to help deliver the toughest projects on time. With 1,100 stitches per minute speed, you would agree with me that speed is not an issue but how to control it. It comes with assorted stitch applications such as decorative stitches, basic sewing and many more. You can choose your preferred stitch from the Selection Dial with ease. SINGER 4423 has got 23 built-in stitches which include 6 basic stitches, 4 stretch stitches, 12 decorative stitches and 1 buttonhole.

With this machine, you can always adjust stitches since longer stitches are proper for thicker materials and shorter stitches for thinner and lighter materials. To adjust the width, just turn the width dial from 0 to 6mm for the maximum setting. For the stitch length dial, turn it from 0.5 to 4mm to set the highest number. Other features are the automatic needle threader for the quick and easy threading of the needle. There are no eye strains or frustration with the needle threader. The top-loading bobbin is easy to insert and remove. You will always know when the thread is running low with the bobbin clear cover. Controlling the speed is easy with the foot pedal.

For the reinforcement of stitches, the machine comes with an automatic reverse. What are you going to do without a free arm? It is just too very difficult to sew without a free arm. The machine comes with a free arm so you can conveniently sew items like the hem pants, collars, cuffs and other difficult areas that you cannot reach easily. To sew multiple layers of fabric, the machine comes with the extra-high presser foot lifter. The snap-on presser foot is an on/off release to change the presser foot instantly.

There are four standard feet which are the all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot and button sewing foot. It comes with a 25-year limited warranty for the machine’s head and a 2-year warranty for other parts.

PROS:
  • Automatic needle threader
  • The high sewing speed of 1,100 SPM
  • 60% stronger motor
  • Heavy-duty metal frame construction
  • Portable and durable
  • Easy to use the bobbin
  • Snap-on presser foot
CONS:
  • No automatic thread cutter
  • Plastic bobbin
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SINGER 4452 Sewing Machine

If you are on a budget and looking for a basic sewing machine for leather, the SINGER 4452 is highly recommended. It is a mechanical sewing machine that is easy to setup. The machine is perfect for beginners and advanced users too. This machine is capable of sewing thick materials like leather, canvas and denim. It is sturdy and runs smoothly making it a reliable and dependable workhorse. The stainless steel bedplate guarantees a smooth fabric flow while the heavy-duty interior metal frame provides you with an incredible sewing experience that is skip-free. You can thread with ease using the automatic needle threader.

It comes with adjustable presser foot pressure for sewing light fabrics, a free arm for the convenient sewing of cuffs and sleeves with 32 decorative and utility stitches to accomplish different sewing projects. The SINGER 4452 has a sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute making it fast enough to sew through leather materials no matter the thickness. With a motor that is 60% stronger, you cannot doubt the performance of this machine.

Other features include LED lighting; adjustable stitch length and width, reverse stitch lever, stainless steel threader and an easy-to-load bobbin with a clear cover that helps you to know the level of the thread supply. There are bonus accessories such as 5 packs of size 16 needles, walking/feed foot and clearance plate. Others are a screwdriver, button sewing foot, auxiliary spool pin, bobbins, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, all-purpose foot, quilting guide and a soft dust cover.

PROS:
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Automatic reverse
  • Great for beginners and experts
  • Powerful motor
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Easy to set up
CONS:
  • No automatic thread cutter
  • Not computerized
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Janome HD 3000 Sewing Machine

The Janome HD 3000 is a mechanical sewing machine that is ideal for home use. This is a versatile machine that does not come with a lot of features but makes the learning curve easy for beginners. It comes with superior built quality and consistent performance. One of the key features is its heavy-duty aluminium frame making the machine a durable and sturdy workhorse. There are 18 built-in stitches altogether. This may not be enough but it takes good care of the basic sewing stuff. Again, the sewing speed is 860 stitches per minute. This is a moderate sewing speed for starters. Some of the stitch selections are stretch stitches, decorative stitches, knit stitch, straight stitch, zigzag stitch and overlook stitch. It also comes with a 1-step buttonhole stitch for the ease of making a nice buttonhole. The machine dials are excellent including the stitch dial.

Janome HD 3000 allows for the adjustable stitch length and width. The maximum width is 4mm while the maximum stitch length is 6.5mm. This machine has a rotary hook bobbin system that is jam-proof. It comes with a transparent cover to let you know when the thread is running low. With the extra high presser foot lift, you can easily sew heavy materials like leather and also handle multiple layers of fabric. The adjustable presser foot pressure makes it convenient and easy to sew through different fabrics. Adjusting it is done through the pressure dial with just a turn.

Other great features include the automatic needle threader for easy threading, a free arm for sewing difficult stuff like the cuffs and sleeves, built-in thread cutter making you forget your scissors and the reverse stitching function. Accessories include 7 feet such as zipper foot, overedge foot, rolled hem foot, buttonhole foot, sewing foot, zigzag foot and blind hem stitch foot. Others are a screwdriver, seam ripper, extra needles, bobbins and instruction manual.

PROS:
  • Automatic needle threader and thread cutter
  • Durable and stable
  • Excellent performance
  • Quiet operation
  • 860 decent, sewing speed
  • Jam-proof bobbin system
  • Sturdy metallic construction
CONS:
  • Just one-button style
  • Lighting is dim
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Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

As a novice, you may not be thinking of buying a heavy-duty sewing machine. You are probably saying you don’t sew heavy materials like leather and denim. But there comes a time in the life of any sewists where they have to up their game. Whenever you are thinking of upgrading to the next level, do it the right way by purchasing the Brother ST371HD sewing machine. When it comes to the heavy-duty aspect of the machine, the machine is built with a metal interior frame and metal needle plate.

This makes the machine extremely sturdy, durable and stable. The sewing speed is just 800 stitches per minute. This is not a bad sewing speed for a beginner. It is lightweight weighing just 19 pounds. There is stability while sewing. No wobbling; no shaking. There are 37 built-in stitches including the auto-size buttonhole. These decorative and utility stitches are perfect for zipper insertion, stretch stitches and blind hems.

Other great features include the automatic needle threader to help put the thread through the eye of the needle with straining your eyes; drop-in bobbin with see-through cover to notice the level of thread supply, you can also load multiple bobbins with bobbin winder; the versatile free arm helps you to handle difficult pieces such as cuffs, sleeves, pant hems and other everyday sewing tasks, thread adjustment for the customization of needle and thread and 6 feet such as spring action zigzag foot, nonstick foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, blind stitch foot and zipper foot. This machine comes with a 25 years limited warranty on the machine’s head only.

PROS:
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Comes with an instructional DVD for easy setup
  • Little or no maintenance
  • Less expensive compared to other machines in its range
  • Sturdy all-metal construction
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • Bobbin winder and a free arm
CONS:
  • No automatic thread cutter
  • No automatic thread tension
  • Plastic automatic needle threader
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SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960

Perhaps you want to upgrade to a leather sewing machine but you don’t like the usual mechanical sewing machine. The Quantum Stylist 9960 by SINGER is made for you. This is a computerized sewing machine for leather. It is easy to use. This is a user-friendly machine, especially for beginners. It comes with plenty of stitch options. With 600 built-in stitches that include 5 alphanumeric fonts and 13 fully automatic 1-step buttonholes alongside stitch elongation, mirror imaging and exclusive buttonhole underplate, your creativity has got no bound. The one-touch stitch selection displays different stitches on the machine’s front panel. Just choose a stitch for the machine to perform.

With an easy-loading bobbin system, loading threads become a breeze. The bobbin comes with a transparent cover to see the thread level. The speed is suitable for beginners. It has a sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute. This sewing machine is built with sturdiness in mind. The internal skeleton is made of heavy-duty metal. With robust internal metal construction, the entire machine’s mechanism is perfectly held in place for a skip-free operation and all-round durability. Starting up the machine comes with a lot of ease. Threading is hassle-free with the automatic needle threader. It comes with an automatic thread cutter, start/stop button, stitch selection button and stitch editing capabilities.

The machine has a large LCD screen to helps you view all the stitch functions that comprise stitch width, stitch length, needle up/down position, tension settings, excellent presser foot and many more. This machine is accompanied by different presser feet. Some of the presser feet including overcasting foot, blind hem foot, zipper foot, all-purpose foot, open toe foot, rolled hem foot, buttonhole with underplate, cording foot, embroidery and darning foot, straight stitch/quilting foot, even feed/walking foot and satin stitch foot. It includes an extended table that gives you a wide working area which is important for quilting or when working on larger projects.

PROS:
  • Automatic thread cutter
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Exceptional speed control makes it perfect for beginners
  • Different patterns are programmable
  • Extension table
  • 600 built-in stitches
  • One-touch stitch selection
CONS:
  • No quilting tray
  • Buttonhole lacks quality
  • Expensive
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SINGER 4432 Sewing Machine

The SINGER 4432 is another advanced and innovative sewing machine that does not only sew leather perfectly but also handles other types of projects like canvas and denim. It comes with a lot of accessories and 32 built-in stitches to help handle a variety of projects. The 32 built-in stitches comprise 6 essential stitches used for core stitches like the mending and construction of different tasks, 7 stretch stitches and 18 decorative stitches. It also features an automatic 1-step buttonhole for quick and easy making of buttonholes.

With a sewing speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, it may be a bit of a challenge for beginners. The powerful motor delivers incredibly with excellent performance. With the 60% stronger motor, it becomes easy to sew through heavy-duty fabrics such as leather and canvas with no difficulties. It comes at an attractive price. When it comes to the overall design, the machine boasts of a heavy-duty metal construction housed in a durable plastic case. Other features include the automatic needle threader that allows you to thread your needle effortlessly, built-in reverse, adjustable presser foot pressure control and adjustable stitch length up to 6mm. It also comes with free arm for the convenient sewing of pieces such as pant hems, collars, cuffs and hard-to-reach areas.

The drop-in bobbin system loads the bobbin from the top with easy insertion. With the tension system, the machine’s tension can be easily adjusted so you can sew with some stability. The adjustment can be done from the tension dial. For illumination, the machine comes with a LED light to help make the working space well illuminated. Some of the accessories include a zipper foot, buttonhole foot, all-purpose foot, and button sewing foot. Others include buttonhole foot, edge/quilting guide, bobbins, needle pack, thread spool caps, L-screwdriver, foot control, seam ripper, power cord and more. There is no doubt this machine comes with a lot of creative features to empower sewists to create exceptional projects.

PROS:
  • Portable and durable
  • Powerful motor
  • 1,100 sewing speed
  • User-friendly and easy to learn
  • Flexible and versatile with the three-needle positions
  • Easy assistance through the SINGER Sewing Assistant App available on Google Play Store and App Store
  • Heavy-duty construction
CONS:
  • The lighting is not bright
  • No automatic thread cutter
  • Very heavy
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Reliable Barracuda 200ZW Zigzag Sewing Machine

If you are looking for a low-cost heavy-duty sewing machine, the Barracuda 200ZW is your best bet. The Barracuda 200ZW is a walking foot sewing machine that handles zigzag and straight stitches. Its small size has nothing to do with its performance. This is incredible sewing that is ideal for hobbyists and small business owners. Sewing medium and heavy-duty jobs is a breeze. The quality stitch can only be compared to that of an industrial sewing machine. It can sew through leather, canvas and even 8 layers of sunbrella plus fabric.

This machine can produce a perfect and even stitch with the top and bottom feeding system. It comes with a built-in speed reducer that stands it out from the crowd. The speed reducer gives the machine the extra force to walk over the toughest of jobs. With a sewing speed of 800 stitches per minute, this machine is perfect for the novices.

One feature that is obvious about the Barracuda 200ZW is the heavy-duty carrying handle. The handle makes it extremely portable to carry from one point to another. There is the reverse lever mechanism that allows you to make a reinforcement of seams by just pushing down the reverse lever. When it comes to the construction of the machine, the construction speaks volumes about the durability and sturdiness of the machine. The stitch width adjustment is from 0 to 5mm. It is made from all-metal construction for long-lasting performance. The workspace is 7 inches which give you enough room to work without any hindrances. To prevent slippage, the machine comes with pulleys and toothed belts. It comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

PROS:
  • Extremely portable
  • Quality equipment at an affordable price
  • Excellent customer care service
  • Strong carrying handle
  • Built-in speed reducer
  • Built-in reverse mechanism
  • Easy setup
CONS:
  • Not suitable for thin fabrics like gowns and masks
  • The presser foot does not raise very high
  • The bobbin is a bit tricky to wind
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Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Sewing Machine

The Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Basic Sewing Machine comes with a portable and powerful straight/zigzag stitch walking foot. This machine is perfect for first-timers who are desirous of a portable and heavy-duty sewing machine. It is recommended for home sewers who want to handle home sewing projects with a lot of ease and for boat owners for the sewing of the canvas. The machine excels in both versatility and performance when it comes to sewing zigzag and straight stitches.

Constructed with the most dependable and tough parts, this machine works through upholstery fabrics, heavy canvas, denim and sailcloth. It can sew lighter home fabrics too. The machine has a sewing capacity of up to 8 layers of Dacron sailcloth and 10 layers of heavy canvas. With a sewing speed of 500 stitches per minute, there is no doubt this machine will make a good companion for beginners. The mechanical zigzag walking presser foot works alongside the feed dog to pull through thick layers of fabric at consistent speeds.

The Patented Posi-Pin clutching system transfers a great amount of power from the motor to the upper drive shaft to power the needle. With the clutching system, the issue of clutch slippage is eliminated. The winding bobbins are quick and easy. Once the pin is pulled out, the machine stops working. This is an excellent safety feature. For a slow speed power and control, the Sailrite LSZ-1 comes with Power Plus Flywheel. This helps you to sew heavy and thick materials at a comfortable low speed for precise stitching.

PROS:
  • Extremely powerful
  • Excellent customer support
  • Comes with a DVD guide to help you get started
  • Exceptional versatility and performance
  • Easy to use
  • Durable and sturdy
  • The clutching system prevents clutch slippage
CONS:
  • 2-year warranty
  • Too heavy
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Consew 206RB-5 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

The Consew 206RB-5 machine is a walking foot sewing machine that can handle light, medium and heavy materials with superior results. This machine can sew through stuff such as leather, canvas, synthetics, vinyl and upholstery. Some of the applications the Consew 206RB-5 can handle include auto, upholstery furniture, handbags, umbrellas, luggage, tarpaulins, camping truck covers, tops, canvas shoes and more.

The machine comes with a standard worktable and clutch motor. The clutch motor can be upgraded to a servomotor at a cost of $79. A servomotor operates quietly and consumes less than 90% of energy thereby saving a lot of money on energy bills. It comes with a low sewing speed of 330 stitches per minute. The sewing speed is perfect for beginners but not for professionals. This machine makes use of a centralized arm lubrication system making it a self-lubricating machine. You can raise and lower the center foot to allow you to sew materials with different thicknesses.

The compound feed and walking foot mechanism ensures that materials are evenly fed to the machine. There is a locking stitch regulator to prevent changes to width stitch which may be caused by vibration. With a large bobbin, your thread won’t run out too quickly. You can use the needle, walking foot and other attachments for other models of the machine such as the Consew226-R2 and 225RB-2.

PROS:
  • Centralized lubrication system
  • Large bobbin
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to use
  • Durable with excellent performance
  • Very user-friendly
CONS:
  • Makes use of a single needle
  • Very heavy and loud
  • No automatic thread cutter

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Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Sewing Machine

The Reliable 4000SW single needle and compound feed walking foot sewing machine is the right machine to sew leather, synthetics, upholstery, canvas and many other medium and heavyweight fabrics. This machine makes use of a combination of a powerful feeding system that comprises a top and bottom feed, higher presser foot lift and longer stitch length to sew through heavier materials perfectly.

It comes with an extremely powerful SewQuiet 6000SM servomotor to give you an exceptional sewing experience with incredible and superior performance. The servomotor is energy-saving with calibrated control and ultra-quiet operation. Setting up the servomotor is easy straight from the box. It comes with the package and not sold separately like other brands. When it comes to speed, the Reliable 4000SW is extremely fast at 2,000 stitches per minute.

With a built-in on/off switch button, you can easily control the variable speed of the machine. Use the stitch dial regulator to control the length of the stitch from 0 to 10mm. You create a back tack with a reverse lever mechanism effortlessly. The icing on the cake is that the Reliable 4000SW comes with UberLight 3000TL worth $79 and it is for free. The LED light will help you to provide visibility when it is dark or when you are working on dark materials.

PROS:
  • Stitch dial regulator
  • Built-in on/off switch button
  • 2,000 Stitches Per Minute sewing speed
  • Exceptionally powerful servomotor
  • Incredible LED light for illumination
  • Quality and standard sewing table
  • Ultra-quiet operation
CONS:
  • No automatic thread cutter
  • Expensive

Buyer’s Guide

Leather materials are tough, thick and resistant to the needle. A lot of the regular sewing machines will breakdown if they attempt to sew leather materials. Once you have purchased the best sewing machine for leather, then, you don’t have anything to fear when it comes to sewing leather materials. But choosing a heavy-duty sewing machine is not like buying candy or ice-cream from the grocery store. You have to do a lot of research so you know what to look out for when choosing a machine for leather. If you want to buy a sturdy and long-lasting sewing machine for leather, these are what you must consider.

Speed and Motor

Speed and motor is at the heart of the performance of a leather sewing machine because leather is thick and needs a lot of power to sew through the leather material. This makes speed and motor a critical consideration. Since speed is of great importance, we recommend Reliable 4000SW because it has 2,000 stitches per minute. Reliable 4000SW is also an excellent tool when it comes to the motor since it uses a servomotor that has incredible power.

Built-in Stitches

The number of built-in stitches is another great consideration. In most cases, sewing leather requires just a straight stitch and maybe a zigzag stitch. That is enough. But if you sew other light materials, you must consider the number of stitches. We recommend the SINGER 4452 for having 32 built-in decorative and utility stitches.

Stitch Length and Width

It is always good to choose a sewing machine with adjustable width and length. This allows for a lot more versatility for different types of projects. Some machines have fixed length and width while others can be adjusted by turning the stitch dial. You must be able to know how massive your project is going to be. This helps you to determine the stitch length and width that is suitable for that project.

Leather Needles

You cannot use the regular needle to sew leather. Leather has special needles. So, you need to find out if the machine comes with needles as part of the accessories. If it doesn’t come with needles, then, you have to spend extra money buying needles. And you have to know the needle size that fits that particular model of the machine since all leather sewing machines don’t use the same type of needle.

Free Arm

It is a lot of suffering working without a free arm. So, make a deliberate effort to look for a free arm whenever you are purchasing a leather sewing machine. It helps you to extend the working space. You can sew fabric with ease around the needle area.

Materials

What type of materials are you going to be working with? This is a question you must answer honestly if you would want to avoid running into problems. Will you be handling light or heavy-duty leather? And how many layers of leather would you want to sew? Are you going to be sewing denim and canvas too? It makes sense to look for a model that handles different types of heavy material to be on the safer side.

Weight and Dimension

The weight and dimension of a sewing machine are worth the consideration. You have to determine it will fit the allotted space perfectly. It must not be too heavy to make it easy to be transported from one place to another. You must understand that the heavy-duty sewing machines are heavier than the regular sewing machines. So, look out for the weight on the label before you purchase it.

Accessories

Almost all the sewing machines come with accessories. Some of the accessories include a dust cover, different types of feet, bobbins, needles, screwdrivers and others.

Warranty

Product warranties provide a lot of protection in case the machine is defective. To claim the warranty, you must ensure that the machine is still within the warranty period. SINGER machines come with a 25-year warranty for the machine and a 2-year warranty for other parts. SINGER provides the best warranty.

Cost

Leather sewing machines don’t come cheap. They cost between $500 and $1,500. Look for something within budget if you are a beginner but for a professional, you need a high-end sewing machine that costs more.

 

FAQs

What Presser Foot is Ideal for Sewing Leather?

Most of the time, the fabric can stick to the presser foot. This is why the ideal presser foot is a roller foot or Teflon foot. Some of the machines may glide smoothly but if there is any hitch for your chosen model, just use tape on the bottom of your regular presser foot. This makes the machine glide effortlessly.

Can I Lubricate the Machine by Myself or Do I have to Take it a Dealer or Technician?

It is not all sewing machines that require lubrication. But you must also check to find out that the model you want to buy requires this type of maintenance. The information can be found in the instruction manual. If it will require lubrication, the user manual will guide you on how to go about it.

Will a Special Thread be Needed to Sew Leather?

Because of the thickness of leather, it does require a special thread. You can use polyester or nylon to have durable stitching.

Conclusion

We recommend the Reliable 4000SW Single Needle Sewing Machine as the best sewing machine for leather because it has got a lot of power and speed to sew through thick materials with ease. It is durable and sturdy too. Alternatively, you can go for the SINGER 4452 Sewing Machine. Any of these two machines will do justice to your leather projects.

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