When it comes to the art of sewing, one of the questions we get asked is, “What is the best leather sewing machine”? The thickness of leather makes it a very difficult fabric to work with. Hence, in order to make intricate designs on leather, you would need to invest in a sewing machine that can handle the job.
Today, we are going to review some of the best sewing machines for leather in hopes that you may find the one that suits your needs best. With the knowledge that you will gain from here, you can rest assured that you will be able to make a well-informed decision when the time comes that you would need to buy one for yourself.
Leather is a luxurious material that is used to create accessories or products that will be enjoyed for years to come. There are very few materials that possess the versatile beauty and timelessness that leather has. Although leather is quite stylish, it is also a heavy and thick fabric, and it often puts undue stress on most general use sewing machines. Moreover, leather tends to stick to the presser foot or throat plate of most standard sewing machines.
Since leather is a very difficult material to work with, you must use the best leather sewing machine in order to complete your projects with accuracy and perfection. Whenever you make stitches on the leather, you create permanent holes on it. As such, simple mistakes, such as out-of-place stitches, can easily ruin the fabric.
No two leather sewing machines are alike. If you are serious about working with leather, is is best to invest in the corret tool for the job. Therefore,you should find a machine that has optimized feed systems, motors, and body construction styles. If you are serious about working with leather, it is best to use the correct tool. Here are some tips to help you choose the best leather sewing machine.
The force generated by the motor system when trying to drive needles through leather is quite immense. Consequently, all-metal sewing machines are best for sewing leather primarily because sewing machines that are housed in other material, such as plastic, can’t handle leather without breaking down.
Sticking to metal body sewing machines gives leather workers an easier time sewing tough or thick materials and also helps them save money on the maintenance of the machines.
Sewing machines for leather need powerful motors that are usually rated according to the amount of currency they draw. The most common motors are 1.2 amp and 1.5 amp, but anything less is insufficient. On the other hand, highly effective motor systems include precision-engineered devices, such as reduced gear systems and ribbed drive belts, that help eliminate the tendency of the leather to slip when being sewn.
Almost all sewing machines use the ordinary feed dog system. However, a few heavy-duty machines have additional specialty mechanisms. These add-ons are primarily for reducing friction between sticky leather and the presser foot, as well as improving the ability for leather to move along evenly without bunching up. Let’s explore some of the most vital add-ons:
A feed foot or walking foot is basically a combination style foot. A walking foot has two presser feet. One presser foot is on the outside, and the other one is on the inside. They alternate oscillating up and down as the sewing machine moves the needle. The walking foot ensures that the leather is always held in place, especially when the needle is puncturing the leather and lifting out of it.
This is a presser foot attachment that has small rollers or wheels that allow the sticky material to move forward easily without sticking to the system. However, it is essential to understand that, depending on the type of roller foot, directional sewing may be more difficult. The leather is free to move in between these two stages.
Be careful not to confuse this feature with walking foot attachments. Walking foot machines are ideal for working with multiple layers of dense vinyl, tough denim, upholstery, and thick leather. They allow the stitcher to move around and zigzag in all directions with ease. all while still preventing missed stitches or slippage.
In addition to the feed dog, the walking foot machines also move the leather with a combination of several different methods. Additionally, they also have a pair of presser feet instead of just one.
Some needles are more suitable for sewing tough materials. Needles that have thicker shanks are generally tougher, and they can puncture leather without snapping or bending. On the other hand, they have wider bodies too, which means that they can easily pull the treat through the holes without snagging the leather on the edges.
Most general use needles are made to fit into standard size holders. However, heavy-duty leather needles are only appropriate for leather-specific sewing machines.
There are many different varieties of walking foot machines that are classified according to their drive configurations:
In the triple feed system, movements of the inside presser foot and needle are synchronized with the feed dogs. This machine is suitable for stitching all heavy materials without causing any stitch irregularities. Therefore, triple feed systems work well with various projects, and this is the main reason why most leather workers prefer these machines.
Double feed drive sewing machines move the material by moving the feed dogs in concert with the outer presser foot. This makes it ideal for sewing mark-proof leather.
In these sewing machines, a slotted presser foot usually lifts up in order to allow the needle to move the material. Jump feed drive is ideal for thick harness projects and leather because it moves the material with the current stitch.
In this sewing machine, the presser foot has teeth on the surface. Although the presser feet in most general use sewing machines are smooth, this particular feed has teeth in order to ensure that the pressure foot always gets a strong grip on the leather. Unfortunately, the teeth may leave little marks, especially on soft leather that has been vegetable tanned.
This system uses the feed dog to move the material by simply pulling it from the bottom. The hinge is loaded with springs, so when its feed dog drops, the foot lifts and snaps forward. Snap feed drive works well with projects where it’s necessary to pivot the leather while sewing.
The ideal machine for your sewing projects largely depends on the type of material and how you intend to use it in your projects. It is essential to remember that some sewing machines are more appropriate for common items, such as motorcycle saddlebags and holsters.
Although apparel leather can be sewn on most general industrial machines, if you want to take your leather craft to the next level, it is important that you buy dedicated machines for heavier material such as leather.
We hope we have educated you on what to look for when purchasing a sewing machine for leather. Without further ado, here is sneak-peek of our review of the best leather sewing machines.
The Janome HD3000 is powerful enough to sew through not only one layer of thick fabric but multiple layers! This smooth-running machine has 18 stitches and an automatic needle threader. It also has a compartment to hold needles, thread, and other accessories. The Janome HD3000 is the perfect machine for someone who wants to sew leather and denim or do quilting.
For a full review of the Janome HD3000, please click here.