Best Leather Sewing Machine for Stitching Fabrics

Tim Parry


leather sewing machine

Leather products are among the most durable fabrics available in fashion, whether in shoes, bags or clothes, but also they are one of the most difficult to create. So if you have always fancied the custom leather look and want to make your own, you should know that a standard machine may not give you the best results.

This is because leather is thicker than other fabrics and needs a more direct sewing approach because the thick fabric can easily break your needle. Consequently, we recommend you choose industrial machines since they are designed to handle heavyweight materials without issues.

Using the best leather sewing machine can make it easy to make your leather goods with minimal challenge. This article reviews the best leather sewing machines with their pros and cons and the factors to consider when making your choice.



What is the best sewing machine for leather?

Which is the Best Sewing Machine for Leather?

1. SINGER Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

SINGER | Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine , Gray
  • SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 sewing...
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE: The Singer 4452 sewing machine has a...
  • 110 Stitch Applications for any fabric
  • BEST SELLING SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 sewing machine...

The SINGER Heavy Duty Sewing Machine is the best sewing machine for stitching leather, denim, and canvas. It's designed to handle thicker fabrics because it delivers more power, making it sew faster. In addition, you can use it to stitch long and thick seams without hassle since it has an all-metal frame that makes it a durable option.

If you want to see professional results, the SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 is the machine you need. It comes with a bedplate made from stainless steel to facilitate a smooth movement of the fabric during stitching. It also gives you enough control over the materials to prevent the machine from skipping any stitches.

With an automatic needle threader, you can set up your machine much faster than ever before, ensuring you save time for the stitching process. In addition, the bobbin system is easy to load since it's accessible and loads from the top. This means you can keep a close eye on the amount of thread you have left at any point.

  • A heavy-duty machine with a durable construction
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for thick fabrics
  • Lightweight body
  • It runs smoothly
  • Automatic needle threader that saves time
  • It has an app that details the necessary installation, techniques and fabrics.
  • Comes with four accessories
  • The needle can't stop in the down position
  • Poor light

2. Janome Sewing Machine

Sewing Machine, Black
  • 18 stitches
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum body
  • Hard Cover and Quilting Accessory Kit Included
  • Drop Feed System and Removable Free Arm
  • Five Piece Feed Dog System

Another suitable option among the best sewing machines for heavyweight fabrics like leather is the Janome Sewing Machine. It's a convenient choice because it features an integrated needle threader that can eliminate the need to get the thread through the eye by yourself. This makes it easier to start the sewing process without wasting time.

This leather sewing machine also allows you to control the direction the fabric takes and the speed of the sewing process, courtesy of the drop feed dogs. In addition, winding the bobbin has never been easier since the auto declutch bobbin winder stops the process when the bobbin is full. This means you won't overwind the bobbin by accident.

Additionally, the thread tension will be in your control since it's manual, allowing you to modify the tightness of the thread depending on the fabric you are sewing. Finally, it has a reverse lever that enables you to backstitch to lock the seams and ensure they won't open.

The high-pressure foot makes this sewing machine ideal for heavier fabrics like denim and leather.

  • Durable aluminum construction
  • It comes with a quilting accessory kit
  • Contains a removable storage compartment
  • Automatic needle threader feature
  • Short power cord
  • Lightfoot pedal

3. Brother Computerized Sewing Machine

Brother CS5055 Computerized Sewing Machine, 60 Built-in Stitches, LCD...
  • 60 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: The Brother CS5055 sewing machine...
  • IMPROVED NEEDLE THREADER: Easier than ever to use, the automatic...
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: The CS5055 includes 7 sewing feet, 4 bobbins, a...
  • METAL FRAME & FIXED NEEDLE BAR: The durable metal frame construction...
  • LARGE NEEDLE-TO-ARM WORKSPACE: A larger workspace with increased width...

The next leather sewing machine we'll review is the Brother Computerized sewing machine which offers up to 60 integrated stitches. This means you can use it for various functions, including making utility, heirloom, and decorative stitches which is why it's ideal if you want a versatile machine.

The needle threader is automated, making this sewing machine a great pick if you usually have a hard time threading the sewing needle. In addition, you won't have to deal with a jammed bobbin since it's easy to load and won't quickly move out of place. Plus, you'll get several accessories, including 4 bobbins, 7 sewing feet, a set of needles, and a user manual written in three languages.

Since It has a heavy-duty metal frame, you don't need to fear sewing heavy fabrics like leather or denim on this unit. In addition, the larger workspace that this model comes with makes it one of the best machines for sewing leather you can buy.

  • Multiple stitching functions
  • Includes accessories
  • Larger workspace
  • Durable build as its a heavy-duty machine
  • Great for heavy-duty materials
  • The self-threader isn't easy to use for all users
  • Flimsy plastic arm

4. SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

SINGER | 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine With Included Accessory Kit,...
  • SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The 23 built-in stitches including...
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE:The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine has a maximum...
  • HEAVY DUTY METAL FRAME: The Singer 4423 heavy duty sewing machine is a...
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of accessories are included with...

Next, we have the SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine, which can handle leather and other fabrics without hassle. It can deliver up to 23 different stitches, which you can use for various projects, including home decor and high fashion. This heavy-duty machine is designed with a metallic frame that increases its longevity and resilience.

While threading the machine will be mostly manual, you won't need to take the thread through the needle, thanks to the automatic needle threader. This eliminates any chances of getting frustrated or straining your eyes when threading the needle.

With a maximum speed of 1,100 stitches per minute, you can trust this machine to sew leather and other materials as quickly as you need. Since the motor is designed to deliver more power than a standard sewing machine, it can easily pierce through heavyweight fabrics. Plus, you'll get a variety of accessories to help you cut additional costs.

  • Easy to use and offers an excellent performance
  • Low noise level
  • It has a smart design, and it's a portable sewing machine
  • A high maximum sewing speed of 110 stitches per minute
  • Adjustable stitch length
  • Versatile with 23 different built-in stitches, including decorative, basic, stretch and buttonhole stitches
  • Durable yet affordable
  • Great for sewing leather
  • It has a smooth fabric feed and accessory tray
  • Rich in features such as the buttonhole sewing function and automatic needle threader, among other leather features
  • Speed of 860 sewing speed per minute25-year warranty
  • Cumbersome to operate the automatic threader, especially for beginners
  • Power compatibility might not match for everyone, so ensure you check if the wattage is compatible with your country's

5. Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 37 Built-in Stitches,...
  • 37 unique built-in stitches: The Brother ST371HD features 37 built-in...
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing machine...
  • Included accessories: The ST371HD heavy duty sewing machine includes 6...
  • Versatile free arm: This free arm sewing machine is perfect for a wide...
  • At your side support: The ST371HD sewing machine comes with Brother at...

Brother ST371HD should be on top of your list if you want a cheaper sewing machine that can easily handle leather. It is a sewing machine with detachable six presser feet that are easy to attach and 6 sewing feet, and the snap-on feet you get are blind stitches, zipper foot, button sewing foot, buttonhole, spring action zigzag and non-stick feet. It includes 37 built-in stitches and has some advanced and common ones such as a zigzag, blind hem, decorative, stretch and reinforcement stitches. With so many layers, you can adjust your feet for additional height, and it also has a drop feed feature that allows a user to finish free-motion sewing with much ease.

Brother ST371HD has a good speed of 800 SPM, and even though it might not be the best for commercial sewists, it is enough for most enthusiasts and hobbyists. It comes with needles of different sizes to use on thick or lightweight fabrics, and you will also get a twin needle. In addition, it also has a metal needle plate that gives a good foundation for its functioning and to provides you with a smooth fabric feeding.

Brother ST371HD home sewing machine is good to use with a specialty non-stick foot for a smooth fabric feeding as with it, the material will go through the machine quickly and will not move, which will help you not spoil your fabric. In addition, the sewing machine for leather comes with a 25-year limited warranty and a free hotline for technical support.

  • Easy to use as it comes with an automatic needle threading system and a jam-resistant Quick-Set top drop-in bobbin system
  • Adjustable presser foot pressure
  • Free arm for sewing sleeves and leather cuffs
  • Smooth fabric feed37 built-in stitches
  • Easy stitch selection
  • It has heavyweight needles and 6 sewing feet
  • It can handle several layers of lightweight fabric
  • Inexpensive
  • 25-year limited warranty
  • It is ineffective for multiple layers of heavyweight fabrics
  • Not sturdy

6. Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 18 Built-in Stitches +...
  • Built-in Needle Threader
  • Reverse Stitch Lever
  • Snap-on Presser Feet
  • Foot Pressure Adjustment
  • 8 Stitches, 1 One-step Buttonhole

Janome HD3000 is among the best heavy-duty sewing machines, and it's a workhorse popular for handling thick materials and heavy fabrics with ease. The heavy-duty sewing machine is among the best industrial sewing machines in the market today, and it works well with canvas, denim and leather. The heavy-duty mechanical machine is heavy-duty and has a durable construction that enhances its performance and is also highly stable because of its make and produces accurate stitches even at a fast speed.

Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine is powered with a 1.0 amp motor, and it's capable of pushing the needle quickly through thick materials such as leather, canvas and denim. In addition, the heavy-duty sewing machine also works flawlessly on lightweight fabrics, which makes it an all-around sturdy sewing machine, thanks to the 18 built-in stitches. Even though this high-quality sewing machine is not computerized, it includes features that position it above the average mechanical sewing machine, especially performance.

  • Affordable
  • Versatile as you can adjust your stitch length and width from 4mm to 6.5mm depending on the project type you are working on
  • Specialized needles and Untra
  • Glide foot allow the sewing machine to smoothly across faux leather and sticky surfaces.
  • Lightweight
  • Rich features include adjustable presser feet pressure, reverse stitch button and a 1-step buttonhole.
  • Fast sewing machine with 860 stitches per minute
  • Easy to use thanks to the built-in needle threader
  • It includes plenty of accessories
  • Excellent stitch quality and 18 built-in stitches
  • Sturdy design and construction thanks to the heavy-duty metal frame
  • Not suitable for thick and bulky materials
  • Thread wastage as the cutters are not optimally positioned
  • Loud on light materials

7. Brother Sewing Machine

Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 50 Built-in Stitches,...
  • 50 Unique built-in stitches: The ST150HDH features 50 built-in...
  • Advanced needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing machine...
  • Included accessories: The STH150HDH heavy duty sewing machine comes...
  • LCD Screen: View your stitch selections, stitch size and recommended...
  • At your side support: The ST150HDH sewing machine comes with Brother...

This Brother Sewing Machine is closing our list today, designed to handle multiple layers of thick fabrics and lighter fabrics. With 50 in-built stitch functions, you can make anything from buttonholes to decorative stitches without difficulty. In addition, the feed dog works with the walking foot to give you better control of the materials during sewing.

It's also ranked as one of the best leather sewing machines because of the expanded workspace that allows you to handle bulkier projects without space concerns. In addition, the variable speed control feature will give you complete control of the sewing speed so that you don't damage delicate fabrics. This leather machine is also great for sewing thick fabrics because the package includes the standard accessories you need.

Plus, the LCD screen will let you see the stitch selections, size, and other details that are essential to keep in sight. If you experience any challenges when using this unit, you can easily find help since there's free technical support that you can access online or via phone.

  • Reasonable price
  • Computerized functions
  • Quiet performance
  • Ideal for heavy and light fabrics
  • The threader is frustrating for some users

What are the Different Types of Leather Sewing Machines

A leather sewing machine will have unique features and designs, and they will still have the ability to sew other types of materials and fabrics. There are different types of leather sewing machines:

1. Flatbed Leather Sewing Machine

It is among the sewing machines for leather on the market, and a flatbed machine will resemble the traditional sewing machines. However, it has a needle and an arm that extends to its flat base, and in short, the machine is built into a table that professional individuals may use to sew leather.

This machine type is suitable for leather goods, including larger bags and clothing. However, it may need more manipulations according to the use and type of bag. In addition, the constructions of some parts of the bag may be difficult to place into your flatbed machine. Therefore, before purchasing a flatbed sewing machine, you should choose the type of bag you want to create.

  • Easy to assemble
  • It sews a flat fabric with ease
  • It copes with most of the sewing needs
  • It may need some adjustments to stitch some layers of the fabric or leather used.

2. Cylinder Leather Sewing Machine

Unlike the flatbed machine, the cylinder arm leather sewing machine usually has a narrow horizontal column that allows your material to pass around and under the column. Also, because it has a varying diameter, you will need to check this factor before purchasing your cylinder leather sewing machines to choose the correct diameter to serve your sewing needs.

This type of sewing machine for leather uses a heavy thread to sew, and it has more options on its feet, especially if it's new. Many manufacturers will add a flat plate attachment that you could fix or death when you need one. It is an industrial sewing machine that will need you to position the need on the arm's end, and most users use these cylinder sewing machines to handle cylindrical materials such as cuffs.

In addition, the adequate space under the horizontal arm makes it super easy to create large handbags, and you can also manipulate the bag as you are sewing. Finally, this cylinder arm leather sewing machine makes it possible to sew bulky things such as saddles and shoes.

  • The table cut out allows a user to sew large items such as handbags
  • It reaches the small places of a material where a flatbed sewing machine couldn't reach
  • The varying length of the cylindrical bed
  • It sews heavy or thick fabrics
  • It might be unsuitable for sewing fabric pieces that are not flat

3. Post Bed Sewing Machine

This is the best sewing machine for leather wallets, bags and shoes, among other leather products. It can work sewing leather boots, attach emblems, and handle the most challenging items with no problem.

The post bed sewing machines usually fit into super-tight corners that other sewing machines such as cylinders or flatbeds cannot, and it will help you sew a perfect bag easily. In addition, it can easily decorate other leather products or any bag, and the sewing machine for leather is suitable for shoemaking. Thanks to the small surface, it allows a user to work on the shoe's upper surface, and you can fit your leather material together with the lining without ruining its shape.

The name post bed usually comes from a single-arm standing vertical on the sewing machines for leather that usually stand out like a fence pole. In addition, the machine features feed dogs and loopers in different column heights. The machine is also famous for decorative stitching such as seat cushions, luggage, boot tops, sofa covers and seat covers.

  • It is efficient in sewing leather under challenging areas
  • Helps to create decorative items such as sofa covers and seat covers
  • It can easily sew even the problematic areas
  • It created limited products than a flatbed or a cylinder sewing machine

What are Some of the Leather Sewing Machine Motor Options

Most shoppers, especially beginners, may not sew the type of leather they buy using the household sewing machine, but some home sewing machines will sew as they claim. The main problem comes with the fabric since some of them can only sew thin leather, which hinders when you need to sew chaps, thick belts, and holsters. To successfully sew leather, you should also consider the machine's motor, as the turning power of the motor is responsible for the first stitch on the fabric.

These motors are different and unique but will offer similar power for the stitching process. There are two types of motors including:

a). Servo Motor

Servo motor was developed to make sewing much more comfortable, and it will help decrease the running cost of a sewing machine on 110-volt circuits. However, the early developments of this motor will make a lot of noise, and it starts, and they are susceptible to failure.

Luckily, the problem was eliminated with the new controller technologies. In addition, some heavy-duty sewing machines will feature an adjustable speed servo motor to offer full control despite your stitching speed.

  • Gear-reducing servo motors are available
  • Don't consume electricity
  • Provides enough control and more power
  • Lacks startup torque

b). Clutch Motor

The clutch motor has been in the sewing industry for several decades, and it's a solid and reliable motor that allows using a sewing machine for a long time. This will run at full speed, even if it develops its torque and when you engage it to the machine.

A floor pedal will help you control the clutch motor when you are sewing, and you can use an adjustable arm that extends from the motor's bottom and will hold it using a foot square with a rod. It moves your toe towards the floor on the pedal, and it will start to engage the clutch, and the machine will turn.

In addition, it will take some time for beginners to learn how to control the clutch motor and therefore, you should exercise caution when using a clutch.

  • It comes in varying ratings, and it will fit different needs
  • It is powerful at low speed
  • It consumes plenty of electricity since it will operate at full speed.

Is an Industrial Sewing Machine Better than a Regular Sewing Machine?

You could choose between an industrial leather sewing machine or a regular sewing machine when it comes to sewing leather goods. The domestic or regular sewing machines are better designed for making samples of your project since they operate much slower than their industrial counterparts. Nevertheless, domestic sewing machines offer better control over the fabric during stitching.

While they don't have much power, they don't need much space since they feature a compact design. Additionally, they are more affordable but will probably be hard to use on thick leather fabrics.

On the other hand, industrial sewing machines, also known as flatbed machines, are faster and can make a limited number of stitches. Nevertheless, they are better suited to sewing heavy fabrics like leather, denim, and canvas. So, if you are wondering which one to go with for your leather projects, you should choose an industrial leather machine.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Leather Sewing Machine

Choosing the best leather sewing machine can be challenging if you don't know what to look for. So, here are some factors to keep in mind as you make your choice.

1. Types of Leather Sewing Machines

Industrial leather sewing machines can take three forms; cylinder-arm, flatbed, or post bed.

a). Cylinder Arm Sewing Machines

These are designed to sew areas that are generally harder to access, like the corners of apparel. They are also ideal for cylindrical sewing goods like leather bags because the cylinder arm makes it possible to maneuver the material without folding the item.

b). Flatbed Sewing Machines

The best leather sewing machine for flat items like belts, collars, and straps is a flatbed machine. The flat platform this machine provides makes it easy to stitch the fabric while it's flat.

c). Post Bed Sewing Machines

These machines are also designed to stitch hard to reach areas since they have a roller foot that allows you to turn the item as you sew. That is why they are typically used in leather footwear and garment production. If you are making something that requires intricate shaping, you can use a post-bed machine.

2. Feed Mechanism

The feed mechanism of an industrial sewing machine is the part responsible for pulling the fabric into the machine as you stitch. It could be a compound walking foot, a regular drop feed, or a needle feed. The best feed mechanism for stitching leather is a compound walking foot. It allows the needle to move about alongside the inside presser foot to ensure the material moves smoothly.

This mechanism also prevents shifts when dealing with multiple fabrics, which is common when making leather goods.

3. Sewing Thickness

Different machines are designed for sewing materials of varying thicknesses. For example, your machine could be suited for light to medium leather fabrics or thick and heavy leather. So, you should check the thickness indicated as ideal for the machine before making your choice.

If you use your machine for a thickness it's not suited to handle, you'll probably damage it, or the outcome of your product won't look as neat as you'd hoped.

4. Thread Size

The size of the thread your leather sewing machine is compatible with is another issue to consider. This is because light and medium sewing machines work well with threads ranging between 33 to 138. Others can comfortably take a larger size, but the heavy-duty models can probably use a maximum thread of size 415.

While the ideal thread size depends primarily on preference, you'll want to take something that covers the various products you'll be making.

5. Needle Sizes

You don't want to choose an industrial machine only to find that it uses a specific needle size that's not ideal for your leather items. That's why you should be keen as you choose the unit you want to use to sew leather. Thin needles are suitable for light to medium weight fabrics, while thicker needles are better for heavyweight materials.

Leather needles are thick since leather is generally thicker than standard fabrics. That's why you want a machine that can hold a leather needle when making your items. You could also choose heavyweight needles if you sew multiple layers of fabric.

6. Motor

When making leather products, you should go with a leather sewing machine with a Servo motor as the motor stretch will determine how capable a sewing machine will be. This is because this motor features a variable speed function that can adjust the sewing speed.

Industrial sewing machines will need more power to pierce thick fabrics, and the power needed will come from the motor as it gives your needle strength to pass inside a piece of fabric and make a stitch before it comes out. Therefore for an industrial machine, ensure you get the most powerful motor, which is unnecessary for a home sewing machine.

Additionally, your machine could have a speed reducer pulley that works with the Servo motor to give you more control as you stitch. It's essential to have a variable speed motor because handling leather fabrics can be tricky sometimes, mainly because of their thickness.

7. Accessories

The last thing to look for in your leather sewing machine is a set of accessories. Some add-ons and attachments could make the sewing process much more manageable. Some of the accessories to look out for are flatbed attachments and swing-down edge guides. Finding a sewing machine with the accessories you need will make the purchase more convenient because you won't need to buy them later.

8. Speed Control

Opt for a sewing machine with speed control features, especially as a beginner, because controlling speed will keep you safe and ensure that you don't destroy your fabric. High-quality sewing machines will have speed control also because it helps to limit the number of mistakes one may make while stitching.

9. Presser Foot Height

The presser foot height on the best sewing machine for leather will determine the thickness of the fabric you can sew, as it's the area below the presser foot and the bedplate. For heavy-duty sewing, you will need this height to be more than the regular sewing and embroidery machines, and with the additional space, the thick fabrics such as faux leather denim and layered projects will work better. Notably, you will not successfully perform heavy-duty sewing without this presser foot height feature.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Sewing Machine for Leather

1. What sewing machine is best for leather?

The best leather sewing machine is the SINGER Heavy Duty Sewing Machine, among the most efficient leather sewing machines on the market. Notably, the right sewing machine will feature a long stitch length option where the long stitch length is better for leather to provide a solid and secure seam.

2. Can you use a home sewing machine for leather?

Yes, you could, but it probably won't give you the best results. You should go with an industrial sewing machine if you want professional results. However, if you make some modifications to your home sewing machine, it could work well.

You can change the sewing machine foot, and since sticky fabrics such as leather cannot feed consistently, you can significantly reduce pressure on the machine's presser foot. This is because uneven feeding of your fabric might lead to skipping stitched or a varying stitch length, which can ruin your piece.

3. How much does a leather sewing machine cost?

A standard leather sewing machine could cost as low as $150, while the most effective can reach up to $100.

4. Can Singer Heavy Duty sew leather?

Yes, it can. It's designed to work well with thick materials like leather. 

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Tim Parry

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