If you are working with leather, you can’t expect everything to go as easily as you can while working with fabric. Even the softest leather is thick and extremely resistant; you can’t even push a normal needle through it.
Forget about making a design on leather with your hand or even normal sewing machine. You are going to need a separate leather sewing machine for all your leather products.
A leather sewing machine – as the name suggests – can sew through even the most resilient leather. Whether you are making bags, belts or shoes, or attaching leather pieces to your jackets, a good leather sewing machine can do everything.
For anything to do with leather, you need a leather sewing machine, but not just any one, the best one available machine in the market within your budget.
Why would you need a Leather Sewing machine?
If you are working with leather in your crafts, you are of course going to need the help of a special sewing machine. Just a normal handheld, mechanical or even electrical sewing machine won’t work with leather; you’ll need a sturdier and stronger machine.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to sew, join or attach your leather pieces to anything, either by hand or a home sewing machine. Even in large factories, leather is cut and sewn with a special, rather large leather sewing machine, but you can get a portable version of it for your home.
If you are running a leather crafting business or need to attach leather to something, you’re definitely going to need the help of a special sewing machine.
With a leather sewing machine, you won’t be only able to sew on leather, but make patterns and designs on them.
If you are making a designer belt, you can sew on buttons, embellishment and other leather pieces on your bag with a machine; for a belt, you’ll need to sew in hoops and straps using a leather sewing machine.
There are a lot of reasons that some people prefer leather over any other material: leather is durable, water-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Leather products have quite a lot of demand among users, and this is a profitable business to start, but you’re going to need a leather sewing machine for this.
Best Leather Sewing Machines of 2019
1. Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine
This sewing machine is manufactured by Singer, which is undoubtedly the most popular brand for sewing machines. It is a machine that you can use in both sewing leather and normal fabric; with a number of helpful features, it is very easy to use on all kinds of materials.
The body of the Singer Heavy Duty is made from a durable metal, with multiple speeds to choose from. Besides, this sewing machine comes with a number of useful accessories, including a dust cover, button sewing foot pedal, needles and bobbins, a screwdriver, a seam ripper, spool pin, as well as a quilting guide.
This machine is a heavy-duty one, with a powerful motor that can easily pierce and sew through even the thickest of leathers, with an astounding 1,100 stitches in a minute.
- 60% more powerful motor than other machines
- 1,100 stitches per minute
- Works on all kinds of fabrics and materials
- Has a built-in needle threader and a drop-in bobbin
- Adjustable stitch length
- Adjustable Pressure Foot control
- Automatic 1-step buttonhole
- Comes with a lot of useful accessories
- Strong, durable body
2. JUKI TL-2000Qi Sewing Machine
Just after Singer, JUKI is the most widely used sewing machine in the world, also used in garments factories for large-scale production. Built sturdily, these machines last a number of years without any complications or complaints.
They are extremely speedy, with more than 1500 stitches in a minute. The JUKI TL-2000Qi is made from a sturdy metal body and can only produce straight stitches. Even at such a high speed, the machine has a very low vibration while working.
One of the most important features of this sewing machine is the extra-large extension table that enables you to work more efficiently. You can use this machine to sew all kinds of fabrics and even leather.
The extra extension table of 12 mm in length makes it easy to work on a quilt or a large project, like hemming or repairing jeans.
- Perfect for regular and large-scale production
- 1500 stitches per minute
- Sturdy metal body
- Extra-large 12mm extension work table
- Can produce straight stitches
- Durable motor
- Low vibration operation
- Can be used on all kind of fabrics and leather
- Comes with walking foot pedal, straight stitching quilting foot, free motion foot pedal
3. Brother Sewing and Quilting Machine CS6000i
This sewing machine from Brothers is quite handy for both leather and any other material, and comes with over 60 built-in stitch styles for you to choose from.
This includes a number of decorative stitches and one-step buttonhole applicator. The Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine also has a wide table that is helpful for quilts, large projects and leather products.
The powerful motor can make 850 stitches per minute, fast enough to sew through thick materials like leather and denim. You can definitely use this machine for your leather product business.
The Brother Sewing Machine CS6000i comes with an adjustable pressure foot that you can control with your foot, leaving both your hands free to hold and control your work.
Besides, you can choose from 3 different speed levels depending on your project; this helps you to choose a slower speed if you are a newbie and a faster speed if you are an experienced seamstress.
An important feature of this sewing machine is that is has a small LCD display where you can see the stitch, sewing speed and mode you have chosen, and that the work area is lit by a bright LED light to make working easier.
- Easy-to-use features
- Automatic needle threader and easy bobbin winder
- Extensive work table
- Built-in free arm helps to sew cylindrical projects
- 850 stitches per minute
- 60 built-in stitches
- LCD display and worktable light
- 1-step buttonhole applicator
- Three speeds to choose from
- Perfect for all materials and fabric
- Computerized operation
- Comes with a cover
4. Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
This is a heavy duty sewing machine that has all the necessary features that you need for sewing, quilting and working on leather.
You can easily choose from the 18 built-in stitches available in plain sight on the body of the machine, as well as the stitch length and width. This is a good machine for beginners as it is easy to handle, comfortable and effortless, at the same time, used to heavy-duty use.
You can easily operate the Janome HD3000 heavy-duty machine with a snap-on presser feet pedal, keeping both your arms free for controlling the fabric you are working on.
Besides, you are getting a cover case and a carrying case with this machine in case you need to travel with it. Perfect on-the-go sewing machine for professionals and amateurs both for relaxed sewing or for a hurried repair jobs.
The needles are strong enough to work on leather and very thick materials like denim and wool, as well as finer fabrics.
The Janome HD3000 is a mechanical sewing machine that comes with a overhead light to help in sewing in the dark. It has a pretty strong motor that can sew fast and strong, even through multiple layers of thick fabrics together.
You can use this machine to sew one or more pieces of leather together, as well. The body is made from lightweight albeit sturdy plastic, but the machine is completely metal, making it a very strong sewing machine to work with.
- Can be used for regular, heavy-duty sewing projects
- Strong motor that can work through several layers of leather
- Can work on thick materials
- Built-in 18 stitches to choose from
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Overhead light
- Snap-on presser foot pedal
- Lightweight plastic body; metal machine inside
- Comes with a carrying and cover case
5. Juki TL-2010Q Sewing Machine
This is another professional sewing machine from Juki that you can operate on any fabric – thick or thin – as well as sturdy leather.
It comes with a pedal foot control that keeps your hands free while working, so that you can concentrate on controlling your fabric. You can occasionally sip on a cup of tea or coffee while you work, too!
This sewing machine has a very powerful motor that can give you more than 1500 stitches per minute at the highest speed, at a 6mm length of per stitch. It comes with a carrying case, and the size makes it perfect for storing away in the cabinets.
The Juki TL-2010Q comes with a 20-years guaranty that is solid, so if you have any problem with the machine – which is highly unlikely because this is a machine that is reliable.
Using the Juki TL-2010Q is extremely easy, even if you are an amateur. There is a small extension table but the throat area is 8.5” in length and 5.9” in height.
You can also control your stitching speed simply by sliding the control bar across, and there is also a very visible button on the body for automatic thread cutting. The auxiliary table is 5.9” in length and 2.7” in height, with a LED light overhead for working nights.
- Strong motor for multiple fabric uses
- Can be used on multiple layers of leather
- 1500 stitches in a minute
- Sliding speed control
- 6mm stitch length
- Large throat area
- Overhead LED light
- Pedal presser foot control
- 20 years’ guaranty
6. Singer Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine
The Singer 4452 is a great sewing machine; with just the right features you need – both as a professional or an amateur. It has 32 built-in stitches to choose from, every single one is an important and stylish stitch that you will be able to use in your projects.
It is a collection of 18 decorative stitches, 7 stretch stitches and 6 basic stitches, as well as an automatic 1-step buttonhole applicator.
Besides, the motor is extremely strong, as is a standard with all Singer machines; the motor is about 60% stronger than other brands, giving you 48% faster stitching. You have reverse stitching option with this machine, as well as an automatic thread cutter.
The Singer 4452 is a heavy-duty machine that you can definitely use on several layers of leather at the same time, as well as on other thick materials like denim and wool. The machine itself is a compact one, but has an extended worktable.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4452 comes with a number of accessories, including a seam ripper, pack of needles, bobbins, auxiliary spool pins, dust cover, lint brush, quilting guide, screwdriver and a spool pin felt.
- Heavy-duty metal interior, lightweight plastic body outside
- 60% stronger motor
- 48% faster sewing
- Automatic needle threader and thread cutter
- 32 built-in stitches
- Automatic buttonhole applicator
- 1100 stitches per minute
- Foot presser pedal control
- Comes with important accessories
- Perfect for leather and thick materials
7. Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
The Brother ST371HD sewing machine has a lot of features that is quite helpful for quilters, professional seamstresses and people who work with leather.
The needles used in this machine are heavy duty ones that can easily sew through several layers of leather, together. The machine may look lightweight and compact from the outside, but it has a powerful machine on the inside.
This sewing machine has 37 built-in stitches, including designer stitches and basic stitches. They are very conveniently printed on the front of the machine for you to choose from, and you can choose the one you need simply by turning a dial attached on the side of the machine.
Besides, a miniature LED display indicates the stitches you have chosen for the project – an added convenience.
A specialty of the Brother ST371HD sewing machine is that comes with 6 separate feet, including a non-stick sewing feet and a spring action feet. The non-stick foot is extremely helpful in stitching and making patterns over exceptionally hard materials, such as: leather, suede or vinyl.
Besides, you have the standard auto threading system, one-step buttonhole applicator and quick-set top bobbin drop-in feature with this sewing machine.
- Powerful motor, lightweight exterior
- 37 built-in stitches to choose from
- Miniature LED display
- 6 separate feet
- Non-stick feet perfect for sewing and adding pattern on leather
- Auto threading and quick-set bobbin drop-in
- One-step buttonhole applicator
- Works on the heaviest materials and fabric
- Comes with instruction manual
- Metal needle plate containing multiple needles
- Built-in overhead LED light
8. Singer 4432 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
The Singer 4432 heavy duty looks like a compact machine, but it has all the features of any standard Singer sewing machine. It comes with 32 built-in stitches, both decorative ones and basic ones. You can easily choose any one from all 32 of them simply by turning the two dials at the front of the machine.
Besides, you get all the standard features in this sewing machine as well, including automatic needle threader, built-in reverse stitch switch, adjustable pressure and stitch length.
You also get 4 feet with this sewing machine: all-purpose feet, button sewing feet, zipper feet and buttonhole feet. This machine from Singer comes with a 25-year general warranty, but there are usually no troubles with these machines.
The motor inside the Singer 4432 is an extremely strong one, and gives you 1100 stitches per minute. The bed plate is made from stainless steel, which makes it easy to work with any kind of fabric and materials, from fine materials like silk to thicker material like leather and wool.
- Strong motor gives 1100 stitches per minute
- Compact size with all metal structure inside
- 32 built-in stitches
- Built-in reverse stitch switch
- 6 separate feet including zipper, all-purpose and buttonhole feet
- 25-year guaranty
- Automatic needle threader
- Adjustable pressure and stitch length
- Easy to choose between stitches
9. Toyota Super Jeans J15 Sewing Machine
This sewing machine from Toyota is completely different from any other machines available in the market, as it has a super large extension table bigger than any other models.
The needles used in this machine are stronger, and can sew up to 12 layers of fabric together. This is the perfect sewing machine if you work with leather, as this machine can work effortlessly with both extremely thick and extremely fine materials.
The extension table is 11.8” in width and 16.5” in length, plenty of space to work on for large projects. It also comes with a number of feet, especially the gliding foot that is very helpful to work on denim and leather.
This sewing machine has been especially made from sewing, altering and repairing jeans but it can be used in working with leather as well. Besides, this sewing machine comes with an automatic needle threader that will eliminate any need to strain your eyes or struggle with a thread.
This sewing machine comes with a number of accessories, including an extension table, a zipper foot, a gliding foot, a zigzag foot, a buttonhole foot, multiple packs of needle, a spool cap, a screwdriver, a felt, bobbins, a seam ripper, a foot pedal control and an instruction guide.
- Large 11.8”X16.5” extension table
- Multiple foot for different projects
- Comes with a number of accessories
- 15 built-in stitches
- Auto needle threader
- Can sew on a number of layers of fabric together
- Works on all kinds of thick and fine materials
- Perfect for working on large projects
10. Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1
This sewing machine from Sailrite is a very simple and basic sewing machine that comes with just two stitches to choose from and a walking foot.
However, this machine can be used to stitch the thickest materials, even multiple levels of it. This is actually a commercial grade sewing machine that is used in factories for heavy-duty sewing work.
The Sailrite ultrafeed can work extremely smoothly on denim, wool, sueve, even leather. Anyone who works with leather products or needs to sew/make designs on leather definitely needs a strong machine like this one.
This machine can work on more than 10 layers of fabric, tried and tested. Besides, you get a Power Plus Balance Wheel – a device which can put extra pressure on the fabric you are working on, more than a normal flywheel.
This machine comes with a wide presser foot paddle so that your hands are free while working. It has two built-in stitches with it: a 6 mm straight stitch and a 5 mm zigzag stitch.
The Sailrite heavy-duty Ultrafeed also comes with 4 bobbins, 4 needles, sewing machine oil, electronic foot control, stitch length plate and a number of other important accessories.
- Heavy-duty machine for extensive use
- Especially manufactured for working on very thick materials
- 2 built-in stitches
- Can sew through almost 10 layers of fabric
- Comes with a number of accessories
- Special Power Plus Balance Wheel attachment for added pressure
Guide to Buying the Right Leather Sewing Machine: Factors to Consider
Sewing machines are rather expensive tools, so buying one will need serious consideration on behalf of potential buyers.
There are a number of factors that you need to decide on while considering the right sewing machine for you. For simple repairing and altering jobs in any home or business, a basic handheld or mechanical machine is enough, but for special projects, you are going to need a heavy-duty sewing machine that can bear the load of the work.
However, if you are thinking of a machine that can work on extremely hard and thick materials, you have to look for a more heavy-duty sewing machine.
If you work with leather, you need a machine that will be able to easily work on leather. Especially if you want to sew leather pieces together or if you want to make patterns and designs on leather, you also need a more heavy-duty machine than the ones we usually use for regular sewing.
Not all sewing machines can work on leather, or even on thicker materials like denim, canvas and suave. You need to look for the term “heavy-duty” when looking for a sewing machine that can work on leather.
The term “heavy-duty” refers to a machine that can work for an extensively long term or work on a hard piece of material. These “heavy-duty” sewing machines are the ones that you need for any kind of leather-based projects.
Brand name is also quite important. Everyone knows “Singer”, of course. Singer was among the first brands that started making sewing machines back in 1851; ever since then, Singer machines were the most popular sewing machines in homes across every country around the world.
The brand value of “Singer” is still quite important today, even as they have started making modern, computerized and embroidery machines that usually come with a 25-year guaranty. Everyone primarily prefers a “Singer” sewing machine even though they are quite expensive.
“Brother” is also a reputable brand when it comes to domestic appliances and machines, including a sewing machines. They have similar, and sometimes more, features than any other brands and strong motors, at an affordable price.
The brand “Juki”, on the other hand, caters more to the industrial sectors, mostly used in ready-made garments factories and design companies. Juki sewing machines are also heavy-duty machines that last long and work great on thick materials.
If these machines lack something in features, they make it up with durability and reliability. Juki sewing machines are something that you will be able to use for years without any problems.
Sewing machines from other brands such as “Janome”, “Toyota” and “Sailrite” are also quite heavy-duty machines, full with useful features and affordable. You will need to, of course, look into heavy-duty models from these brands that will work on leather.
The more powerful the motor, the easier it will be to work on thicker materials like leather. With a powerful motor inside your sewing machine, you will be able to work on multiple layers of material and fabric at the same time, even when the material is leather, wool or canvas.
The most advanced motors can give you up to 1500 stitches in a minute, which makes your work finish faster.
Besides, a powerful motor means that you will be able to use the machine on thicker materials. When the motor is powerful, it will have the capacity to put more pressure on materials like leather, thus, leading to a smoother design.
Some sewing machines come with more than 30 built-in stitches while others come with less than 5. If you will be working solely with leather, you won’t need more than a few basic stitches that are available in most sewing machines of all brands.
However, the machines that come with a lot of built-in stitches can also be used in other kinds of projects, such as embroidery and quilting. If you ever want to venture out to another creative outlet related to sewing, a sewing machine with more built-in stitches would come in handy.
Some extra features such as automatic needle threader, one-button thread cutter, automatic bobbin drop-in, reverse sewing stitch, adjustable speed setting, etc. are very useful features in a sewing machine.
You may not understand the importance of these features if you are a newbie to this field, but these features have been incorporated in these sewing machines to help users.
Especially, features like the Automatic Needle Threader and Automatic Bobbin Drop-in help in saving time and effort when you are in the middle of a large project that needs constant attention. A long extension table is quite convenient as well, as you can take on larger projects.
Therefore, to sum it all up, you need to decide on a sewing machine from a reputed brand that has a heavy-duty motor strong enough to work on a material as thick as leather, with as many built-in stitches and extra features as possible.
Other additional features such as a large extension table and a sturdy, durable body, an easy-to-reach foot pedal, separate foot for different jobs – these also helps to decide on a design.
Your budget, of course, plays an important part in deciding on a model. You need to find a sewing machine that matches your allotted budget but also has all the important features that are important for your work.
How to Sew Leather Properly?
The easiest way to sew with leather would probably be by hand, but only if you have a lot of physical strength and unlimited time on your hands.
Sewing and mending leather with your hands can be oddly satisfying, too, but only possible if this is a hobby. If you intend to run a leather-based business, your work has to be fast and flawless, which is only possible with a good heavy-duty sewing machine.
When you want to work with leather, just any old sewing machine won’t do. You will need a sturdy, heavy-duty sewing machine that can smoothly work on leather without you having to put too much pressure on it.
There are some special tips that you can follow to work with better with leather, but you’ll need the help of a good sewing machine for this.
Make sure the size and stitch is right
With leather, every cut and stitch you make will have to be the final one. If you make a wrong cut, there are not many ways that you can make it right.
With regular fabric, you can at least try to elongate the material by sewing together another piece, but this is not possible with leather. Similarly, every stitch you make is also permanent. You can take out a wrong stitch but the holes will always the there.
Use clips and tapes to make a mark
With fabric, we use a safety pin or a regular pin to hold two pieces of clothes together in their place while we work, but it is not possible for leather. Pins can’t usually penetrate leather and if they do, they’re going to leave a hole or a mark.
For working with leather, you need to use any kinds of clips – paper clips, hair clips or binder clips, or scotch tape. There are some special clips available just for leather projects that you can get in fabric and craft stores.
Cut each Layer Separately
Whatever project you are working on, you need to cut each layer separately, after marking the borders with chalk. With fabrics, we can cut out several pieces together and it is completely acceptable, but with leather, you need to cut one layer at one time, even if they are of the same size.
Use a special needle and thread
For whichever sewing machine you are using, you need to use a special needle that has been made especially for working with leather. These needles are longer, thicker and in general, stronger; they can work smoothly over leather and exert pressure when needed without breaking.
Whether you are working with real leather or faux leather, thick or fine leather, you have to use special leather needles in your sewing machine.
Thread used for sewing leather is also different from regular thread; they are thicker and sturdier, and feel more like wool than thread. These threads do not break or snap even when you are using extreme pressure on thick leather under a heavy-duty machine.
Decide on a Stitch
There are a number of stitches that you can choose from: single topstitched seam, double topstitched seam, plain seam, lapped seam, and faux flat fell seam. The right seam for you depends on the project you are working on, as well as the finish you want to give to your work.
For thicker pieces of leather, you’ll need to choose a stitch with shorter lengths so that the two pieces are bind together tightly. For thinner leather, longer stitches will work fine.
Nothing left to do but to start stitching your leather pieces together. If you had been using your hands, some people pressure to make holes in the leather previous to stitching so that the lines are even.
However, if you are using a sewing machine, you don’t need to make holes beforehand. Your sewing machine will do both the jobs of making the holes and the stitches while you only need to keep your lines straight.
Don’t worry about the Seams
With leather pieces, you won’t have to worry about the edges fraying. With both real and faux leather, you don’t have to add an additional layer of stitch around the seams.
Even in this modern age of minimalistic clothing and high-end fashion, we still like leather to be a part of our attire. We not only use leather bags, shoes and belts, we like leather to be a part of our clothing as well.
Leather jackets, leather pants and leather dresses – most people think of leather attires as stimulating and attractive. It is due to this demand for leather products that many large- and small-scale businesses now use leather in designing and making clothes.
Besides, many home-based businesses also work to make shoes, belts, headgear and bags with leather.
Leather goods have a charm of its own. Even when we live a modern lifestyle, we love the feel of leather in our everyday attire. Leather accessories are not as malleable as other materials, but they still give out an authentic vibe that we love to own.
This is why we both love wearing and working with leather; whether working with leather is your hobby or business, this article will hopefully be quite important for you.