Whilst there aren’t many machines tailored towards one material in particular, there are some excellent sewing machines for leather. It’s a tough material to sew, there’s no getting past it but the better machines can get through such materials because of their built quality but this isn’t always easy to find. A lot of products will promise a product that can get through the likes of leather but until you look at the amount of power it has and the type of needles it can accommodate, it is difficult to tell if it will truly work.
This is why we have created our list of the best sewing machines for leather. Each one is built by a reputable brand and can offer a lot more in terms of features and options. Even if you are a beginner, there is a product that you will find suitable for your needs in the list below.
- Editor’s Choice
SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches (Amazon) – Review
- Best Accesories
Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine w/Hard Case (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Stitches Per Minute
Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle (Amazon) – Review
- Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Quilting
Brother Designio Series DZ3000 Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider (Best Value)
Brother ST371HD (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine
Singer is a name that many people associate with quality as well as sewing machines and in the 9960 you’re getting an easy to use product that has loads of features. Starting with the 600 built-in stitches that include 5 alphanumeric fonts for personalizing your pieces as well as 103 utility stitches, there are so many possibilities when using this machine. In our eyes, it is the best sewing machine for leather because it is good value but also because its heavy-duty metal frame is reliable and it can sew at a rate of 850 stitches per minute.
The needle up/down feature means it can be used with a variety of fabrics of various thickness and there are also 19 presser feet included giving you plenty of sewing options for different techniques. Ther is an extension table making this product well suited to quilting and an automatic thread trimmer button makes finishing up easy so you can move onto the next project.
- Capable of 850 stitches per minute
- Includes 19 presser feet
- Massive 600 built-in stitches
- Up/down needle
- Good value
Best Value: SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches
For the price, it is difficult to better this product and it is the perfect sewing machine for leather. A beginner will find it easy to use whilst the more advanced user will still be able to put it to good use. The features might not be as plentiful as the eilte machines but this represents excellent value for anyone who doesn’t want to break the bank. You get 23 built-in stitches included and the motor has been improved so it is 60% stronger. This means it can get through tough materials such as leather without a problem.
It is heavy so it can power through its stitches but it isn’t what you would call bulky. The heavy-duty metal frame means it won’t vibrate too much even at top speed. Speaking of which, it can offer speeds of up to 1,100 stitches per minute, more than most at the price. You get four presser feet included and adjustable presser foot presser to give you lots of sewing options and to keep you in control.
- Capable of 1,100 stitches per minute
- Heavy-duty body
- 23 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Can be a little loud at top speed
Best Accesories: Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine w/Hard Case
This is a product that regularly features high on the list of heavy-duty sewing machines because of its strong build quality and ability to work at speeds of up to 860 stitches per minute. It is also one of the best sewing machines for leather because it can hold different sized needles, meaning a thicker one that will make light work of tough, resilient leather.
You can adjust the stitch length and width to make sure the leather is sewn reliably and there is also an ultra-high presser foot among others to accommodate thicker materials. The HD3000 comes with a hard case which is something that a lot of the best brands don’t even give you. The user can even adjust the pressure foot pressure which means this machine can sew a variety of materials, no matter how thick. There is an automatic needle threader to make set up simple and 19 built-in stitches to choose from once you get up to speed. With an extra high foot lift and specialized needles, it is one of the best sewing machines for leather.
- Adjustable pressure foot pressure
- Automatic needle threader
- 19 built-in stitches
- Winding bobbin can be a little awkward
Best For Stitches Per Minute: Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle
A lot of people consider this among the elite sewing machines for leather and although it is one of the more expensive, the features and power are testament to why. The 1,500 stitches per minute is impressive and makes it easy for this to power through tough materials like leather. The carry handle means you can take it anywhere although its heavy-duty body means it is on the heavy side, but this contributes towards the power.
This mid-arm machine is great for quilting because of its wide throat and the adjustable presser foot pressure means you can instruct it to push through thick materials at any time. Then, when you want to return to the lighter materials, you can switch things back to normal. It is well suited to making your own garments and has a user-friendly design that is easy to get to grips with.
- Capable of 1,500 stitches per minute
- Adjustable pressure foot pressure
- Great for quilting
- Can be a little heavy for some people
: Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches
The words heavy-duty and sewing machine for leather go hand in hand so it is no surprise to see this product feature on our list. You might only get 14 built-in stitches but the powerful 1.amp motor means it can get through tough materials like leather without an issue. Its aluminum body means it looks great but can also reduce the vibrations at top speed.
Similar to their HD3000 but toned down a little bit this represents goods value considering the 4 step buttonhole and 4 presser feet included. The foot lifter is capable of extra high pressure meaning you’ll find it easy to feed thick, robust materials such as leather. The softcover helps to protect the machine when in storage and with a removable free arm feature it opens up plenty of sewing options.
- Powerful motor
- Aluminum body
- Capable of handing various fabrics
- Automatic needle threader
- Only 14 built-in stitches
Best For Quilting : Brother Designio Series DZ3000 Computerized Sewing & Quilting Machine
Anyone who wants a mid-range sewing machine for leather should consider the power of Brothers DZ3000. It gives you 240 built-in stitches which include alphanumeric fonts and 8 1-step buttonholes to make life a lot easier. This is complemented by the automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin feature to help you get a new project off the ground. It has a wide table making it perfect for quilting but also has the power to get through thicker materials as well.
This is because of the variable speed control that allows you to choose to power through at low speeds. The stitches are clearly displayed on the side of the machine making it easy for you to select the perfect one and a bright LED light helps to illuminate the area so you can work with dark fabrics.
- 240 built-in stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Variable speed control
- Wide table for quilting
- Includes 14 presser feet
- Can be a little loud for some people
Also Consider (Best Value): Brother ST371HD
A beginner will appreciate the ease of using Brothers ST371HD and its heavy-duty body means it will not vibrate like crazy, even when using it at top speed. The 37 built-in stitches mean you can take on different projects and this is a decent amount considering the reasonable price tag. Because of the automatic needle threader and top drop-in bobbin system, this is an easy product to use from the word go and it is easy to learn how to use the different features because of the instructional DVD that comes included.
There are also 6 presser feet and a free arm feature that allows you to sew cylinder shapes – perfect for repairing tears in sleeves. When it comes to using it with leather, it is known for being capable of sewing thick fabrics that include leather as well as denim and canvas so you won’t have a problem using it for your tougher projects.
- 37 built-in stitches
- Strong build and capable of working with tough materials
- Includes instructional DVD
- Free arm for sleeves
- Not as many features as other products
You’d hope that all sewing machines are capable of working with thicker materials, but this isn’t always the case. The fact is, you need a specialist sewing machine for leather. Although the product might not specifically say it is ideal for working with certain materials, there are ways you can tell if it is up to the job or not.
When you know what the ideal product should be capable of, it makes your search a lot easier. Also, you are not going to be left with a sewing machine that breaks upon the first contact with the leather. To help make this search easy, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
For it to be capable of getting through tough materials like leather, the sewing machine you buy must have a heavy-duty body. Sure, all machines have metal parts inside but the overall construction should be made from heavy metals for it to power through thick materials without skipping stitches.
Stitches Per Minute
One sign of a powerful sewing machine for leather is at the maximum speed that it can work at. A lot of people will find a machine that can push out 850 stitches per minute is fast enough to get their projects finished in a timely manner. However, a professional with a backlog of work will want to work faster.
This means the speed of 1,000 – 1,500. When you start to up the top speed, you are more likely to land a powerful machine.
This isn’t something that a lot of the beginner sewing machines offer so look out for it in the products you are interested in. Being able to move the needle up and down means the machine can accommodate thicker materials like leather. Without it, the product might have the power, but not the room.
Although you want the sewing machine for leather to be powerful, it still needs to have other functions as well. The best products will come with plenty of built-in stitches but this will not be as important for beginners. An accomplished sewer will find that the more stitches they get, the better and a professional will probably want alphanumeric fonts to choose from.
Adjustable Speed Control
More than any other material, adjustable speed control is vital for working with leather. This is because you cannot undo any mistakes and if you have made great progress on a large piece, then it can be very frustrating.
Even more important for the beginner, being able to control the speed means you are more likely to be left with a satisfying seam.
Yes, a sewing machine for leather needs to be tough and robust just like the material itself, but you also want to use it with other projects in mind. This is why you need all the accessories you can get.
A lot of the time you will get presser feet, bobbins, extra needles, hem guide, a cover and a lot more to start numerous projects.
Like us, you will be eager to use your new sewing machine for leather as soon as you open it from the box. This is why you don’t want any confusing setup. Most reputable brands include an automatic needle threader and a top drop-in bobbin feature that ensures you can ready the machine quickly.
An instructional DVD is also a good extra to look out for and these aren’t reserved for the beginner machines either.
Adjustable Pressure Foot Adjuster
It’s a bit of a mouthful, but this is what helps the needle to apply more pressure with certain stitches. It is great for getting through tough materials and an important feature for anyone hoping to find the best sewing machine for leather.
Because you cannot correct your mistakes it is important to be as accurate as possible when sewing leather. The best products will all come with LED lights as standard. Some are better than others in terms of brightness and how long the bulb lasts but anything that illuminates the area is going to be of use, especially in low light conditions.
This is the sort of feature you need if you want to use the sewing machine for quilting as well as stitching hard materials. The more options you have, the more enjoyment you can get from the machine.
An extension table enables you to use it for large materials.
Because you are going to be working with a tough material like leather, the wrong machine could struggle. Even a quality sewing machine for leather can break so when you are spending hundreds you will want to protect your purchase.
The likes of Brother and Singer tend to give you a lengthy warranty, often around 25-years.
This depends on the model.
Some sewing machines might surprise you and have more than enough power to get through the leather. There are some that with the right needles and pressure, it can be used for tougher materials but it isn’t recommended unless the machine is suitable.
If the machine is heavy-duty it has a better chance of being well suited to such projects but it is best to stick to one that has been made with such materials in mind.
Every sewing machine requires a level of maintenance to extend its lifespan. Even dust collecting in the small crevices can cause wear and tear that is easily avoided.
Start by cleaning the machine regularly and keeping it well oiled. There are a lot of moving parts in a sewing machine so opt for a quality oil to keep it running as it should.
A cover is also important when in storage and for anyone who wants to make sure their sewing machine lasts as long as it should, take it for a service once a year.
Your budget will determine the quality of the machine you can afford but there are some excellent sewing machines for leather in a range of prices.
A beginner should expect to be able to find a heavy-duty machine that has plenty of built-in stitches for their needs for under $200. This will still have the power to stitch tough materials like leather.
Anyone who wants something with more features, a bit more power, and that extra quality should opt for a product around the $300 mark. An advanced sewer or professional might find anything under $500 to be limited in what it can do and for a machine that can push our 1,500 stitches per minute, with added features and more pressure feet should expect to pay around this amount.
Although they are built with a heavy-duty body, this is what helps to prevent the vibrations. By weighing it down, the body of a sewing machine stops it from moving all over the place.
There are things you can do to help. For example, use a matt under the machine when you put it on the table to help keep it sturdy and don’t be put off by the weight of some of the machines. What they lack in portability, they make up for in lack of vibrations.
A sewing machine that is capable of sewing leather should be able to hold different sized needles. Not all products come with the right sized needle as standard so you might need to buy yours separately.
A lot of brands advise that you stick to their brand of needles and whilst this is advisable, you also need to know the right size required for sewing leather. Look for a spear-shaped 110/18 leather needle to make light work of the rigid material.