Have you always loved the look of custom leather? Leather products are some of the most durable fashions that are available, but they are also some of the most difficult to create. It is a thick, resistant product that doesn’t like having a needle stuck into it, much less a complicated stitching pattern!
However, if you’ve got the best sewing machine for leather working with you, you’ll find that custom leather products are fun and easy to create!
Why Is a Leather Sewing Machine Needed?
The one real problem that there is with leather crafting is that you can’t make any mistakes. All it takes is one stitch in the wrong spot and you’ve got a worthless material sitting in front of you. That’s because when you make a stitch in leather, you’re creating a permanent hole in the product! You can’t even use pins when plotting out your project because of this fact.
Leather also tends to stick to the presser foot or the throat plate of most standard sewing machines. Although you can sometimes get away with putting a piece of scotch tape over the bottom of the foot, most machines aren’t going to accept the thickness of the material. The leather will either stick underneath the foot or you’ll just get a stuck needle that has created a problematic permanent hole.
The best leather sewing machines are also going to provide you with a longer stitch length option. The longer stitches are better for leather because it will provide a stronger, more secure seam.
If you’re using a faux leather product, then the same rules apply when sewing this type of material too. When in doubt, use a scrap of the material you intend to use and test out how your sewing machine will react to it. If the sewing machine you have won’t let you sew the materials, then you’re in need of an upgrade to the best leather sewing machine to finish off your project.
What Are the Basics of Leather Stitching?
The key to a good sewing experience with leather is to watch what your thread tension is very carefully. Standard sewing machines will automatically try to adapt with a tighter stitch and that might cause the thread to break. You can under-compensate on a manual machine and cause the stitch to ruin your leather. That’s why having the best sewing machine for leather helping you out is a tremendous benefit. It will take care of this problem for you!
Stitching with leather also means needing new needles on a consistent basis. The leather will dull the point of the needle after some time and you’ll end up either breaking the needle, jamming up your machine, or ruining your product – if not all three! Always change your needle before starting a project and when you reach a natural stopping point, change your needle again.
You’ll also find more success when trying to sew leather products by using a synthetic thread instead of a cotton thread. Nylon and rayon are typically going to be your best options, but a polyester of upholstery weight can work as well. If your leather won’t slide even with your leather-specific machine, some baby powder can help you other there.
Are Residential Sewing Machines Good For Leather Sewing?
There are two basic types of leather sewing machines you’ll find on the market today: residential sewing machines and industrial sewing machines. Residential machines are an all-in-one unit that will allow you to sew some basic leather projects. Most of these machines will handle a leather thickness of about 3/16” when you use the proper leather needles.
If you need to sew anything thicker than this, then you will want to invest into an industrial leather sewing machine. This also means you’ll need to have a servomotor, and a table, at minimum with the machine to finish off your project. The advantages of upgrading to an industrial machine give you some additional options for all of your projects.
- The maximum stitch length is upgraded from 4-6mm to 8-10mm.
- Stitching speeds can reach upwards of 2,500 stitches per minute.
- You don’t need to take breaks while sewing to allow your machine to cool down.
Purchasing an industrial sewing machine is a commitment. Unless it comes with an automatic lubrication feature, you’ll need to oil the components of your new machine after every session. You’ll also need to oil it after a few days of it not being used.
Residential machines are great for light leather projects. If you have a number of thick leather products to sew, then invest into an industrial machine. If you just have a couple of projects that you want to get done right now and that’s it, then hand-sewing your leather might be the most cost-effective method. Just be aware that it’s a slow and tedious process.
How Do I Find the Best Sewing Machine For Leather?
The first stop on your shopping journey should be one of our best sewing machine reviews. These reviews are designed to help you sort out what makes and models can meet your leather product needs. You can quickly find the features and advantages that will work for you and then eliminate machines or choose to purchase one based on the information that you see.
You’ll also want to take a look at the strength of the needle that a machine can accept. Although most needles will work for leather when the point is sharp enough, there are some machines that have a thin standard needle that won’t work very well. Look for stitch adjustments as well so that you can maximize the strength of your final leather product. This is a dial command on lower end models and a push-button feature on upper end models.
Some sewing machines don’t always like to accept synthetic threads either. If they do, then you may need to use a vertical spool instead of a bobbin in order to achieve the right results. Look for this option in particular if you’re wanting a leather-specific sewing machine and you’ll be able to create stunning items – even ones that aren’t leather based!
What Are the Prices of the Best Leather Sewing Machines?
If you’re just planning on using thin leather or faux leather for your next project, then you could get away with using a standard sewing machine if you use the tips included here. If that is the case, then you can expect to pay around $250 for an entry-level machine that has a high enough quality.
For thicker leather products, you’ll need a machine that has more heavy duty features. This will increase the costs by at least 25%, if not more. The average price for a sewing machine with a fair amount of features and a high footer is generally around $500.
Top of the line sewing machines that can handle leather will top out at $1,500 or so on a website like Amazon. Your local dealer may have a 20% upcharge or more on any of the prices that are listed here, so keep that in mind as you shop!
Are you ready to see what you could create with leather materials? Then you’re going to need one of the best sewing machines for leather that is available today? Use these reviews to find a machine that has the right features for your needs and then enjoy the beauty of creation!