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How To Choose The Best Upholstery Sewing Machine

Like us, are you the kind of sewing enthusiast who started out with very simple projects, garments, and ideas and then worked your way up to other, more complicated things? We’ve tried all kinds of different sewing techniques over the years, but there are still plenty of things that are very new to us indeed and we feel like we’re always still learning which is part of why we love sewing so much. The most recent new thing we’ve tackled is upholstery sewing. We’re still making garments and lighter things like we’ve always done, but there’s something very fun indeed about learning how to work with and use a sewing machine on all different kinds of materials, with different thicknesses and properties. We learned pretty quickly indeed that if we were going to keep working in upholstery more prominently, we were going to have to invest in the proper machine because our little home sewing machine wasn’t quite up to the job. That’s how we found ourselves scanning the online options and really doing our research in an attempt to figure out what the best upholstery sewing machines to invest in might be!

We spent some time bookmarking our favourites so we could go back to them later and, by the time we’d made our decision, we realized we’d amassed quite a decent list of options that we couldn’t help feel was worth sharing with other crafters. Check out these 10 high quality upholstery sewing machine options that we came across in our search.

1. SINGER Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

Singer heavy duty 4423 sewing machine

As you might imagine, most of the best options for sewing with upholstery are labelled “heavy duty” because they are, in fact, some of the most heavy duty pieces of sewing technology that a person can invest in for their home. We’re sure it’ll make total sense to you, then, that this very first SINGER model that caught our eye is literally labelled and marketed as their most heavy duty model! Since it works just that way as well, we were very impressed indeed with the price point it’s offered at.

In addition to being durable and all round “heavy duty” enough to work with the average similarly heavy duty materials involved in upholstery, this model also has several fantastic features that make it work like some of the best regular sewing machines out there as well, just with a little more strength and power behind it. For example, this model offers 23 built-in stitches ranging from practical to decorative, a specially designed, extra strong motor that works in partnership with a hardy automatic needle threader, and a truly heavy duty metal frame. As if that’s not enough for the price, this model also comes with a 25 year warranty!

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2. Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Janome hd3000 heavy duty sewing machine

Are you actually interested in replacing the current sewing machine you currently have all together because you’re planning on working with more heavy duty upholstery fabrics primarily from now on and you know your old machine will barely last much longer anyways, let alone handle that? Then maybe you’d rather invest a little more money in what you purchase and get a well rounded package that gets you a durable machine and a lot of the accessories and extras that you’ll need to put the machine to its best use! That’s precisely the kind of deal Janome offers here.

Besides a hard case that complements the durable materiality of the machine’s heavy duty exterior and work surface, this particular model also comes with several diverse use sewing feet that are great for working specifically with upholstery materials (including a foot for ultra glide, blind hem, overedge, rolled hem, zippers, and buttonholes. It also comes with a range of needles, including extra durable ones for upholstery and things like leather and denim! The machine also boasts and automatic needle threader, a simple pictorial thread selection, and some long lasting bobbins that are designed to withstand the machine’s impressive speed.

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3. SINGER Heavy Duty 4411 Sewing Machine

Singer heavy duty 4411 sewing machine

Are you still thinking about how much you liked the idea of using an extremely heavy duty machine with a simple design but you’re just not sure that you need quite as many built-in stitch options as the one you saw before, which had upwards of 23 different kinds? Then maybe you’ll get along a little better with this slightly more simplified version that is also from SINGER!

Although this model has the same heavy duty and durable exterior as the similar version you saw before, this particular machine only has 11 built-in stitches, sticking more to the practical side of things rather than decorative details like the other one had in its roster but still giving you a few pretty embroidery-like options to play with too, as well as the fundamental buttonhole setting. One of our favourite parts of this machine is how it offers a customizable experience thanks to an adjustable needle position system and adjustable foot pressure that lets you cater how you work with different heavy duty materials. This helps protect the machine from damage when you’re working with certain upholstery materials but also lets you create better finished products.

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4. Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine

Janome hd1000 mechanical sewing machine

Perhaps you’re still looking for a sewing machine option that will give you a nearly regular sewing experience but still be durable enough to withstand it when you use heavier duty things like upholstery materials, with bonus points if it comes with at least a few accessories, even if you’re not getting a fully stocked kit alongside the machine? Then we think you simply must take a look at what Janome has to offer here!

On top of its durability and heavy duty materiality, this machine offers all the basics of a standard but user-friendly sewing machine, possibly like ones you’ve had before even if they don’t have quite the same level of strength to offer. These features include snap-on pressure foots in different shapes for different purposes, free arm capabilities for sewing things like sleeves and neck holes on thick material garments, adjustable stitch length settings, and a button hole setting. Additionally, the company sends you a small stocking kit specifically made for the machine, including heavy duty bobbins and some durable needles.

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5. Necchi FA16 Sewing Machine

Necchi fa16 sewing machine

Even though you’re already trying your hand at working with upholstery materials and other such slightly specialized and heavy duty things, are you still convinced that you’re a little bit of a beginner so you’re looking for a model that’s a little more simplified and works and feels a little more like your older regular sewing machine, rather than a big industrial one? Then we’d be willing to bet that you’ll have a little more luck with something like this machine offered by Necchi.

The basis is this machine is like many professional and beginner designs, functioning around easy to use dials and pictorials that let you adjust all kind of settings. These dials let you choose between 16 different stitches including an automatic buttonhole setting and the machine also boasts a drop feed bobbin and thread hook system that makes it snag free and exceptionally easy to use. Despite the fact that it looks and works mostly like a regular beginner’s sewing machine (it only ways 11 pounds), its intentionally durable materiality still makes it an ideal machine for sewing upholstery.

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6. Janome Industrial-Grade Aluminum-Body HD1000 Black Edition Sewing Machine

Janome industrial grade aluminum body hd1000 black edition sewing machine

If you’re going to buy yourself a new sewing machine that works as a regular machine but also as a durable tool for upholstery work, would you rather get something quite smart looking, cutting edge, and as fashionable as the things you enjoy making? Well, particularly if you’re looking for something that’s extra smooth and easy to pass any unique material you might use under the needle, then we think you’ll really appreciate this sleek black machine offered from the more professional end of Janome!

This is truly aptly described as being “industrial grade” thanks to its strong and scratch resistant aluminum covered body and work surface area. It also offers a range of practical automatic stitch settings, including a buttonhole, making it useful for clothing and other upholstery based things. Like most of the best machines, it also has a drop feed bobbin system that’s snag resistant, as well as an automatic needle threading system. Just in case you’re a really diverse crafter, this machine actually also has several useful features for machine quilting as well! Just in case you’re still concerned about the machine really lasting through what you’re planning on making, since you know you can be a little hard on your things, this machine also comes with a hard cover case and a 25 year warranty.

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7. Juki DDL8700 LockStitch Industrial Sewing Machine

Juki ddl8700 lockstitch industrial sewing machine

We’ve done a lot of talking about sewing machines that work just like industrial versions that might be used in professional studios or for much larger production but, if you’re going to keep advancing in your upholstery and more heavy duty works, would you much rather invest in a machine that’s actually industrial? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at what Juki has to offer in this next model that’s practically unbreakable.

One of the most appealing things about this particular machine is its impressive sewing speed, which is thanks to its extremely durable industrial motor, which enables up to 5500 stitches a minute. This machine also has adjustable foot pressure, adjustable stitch length, large thread bobbin systems that are snag free, and even an actual, full sized work surface that resembles an actual tabletop. Because the machine is a little more sophisticated to use than some of the more basic and beginner type designs, it takes a little bit of assembly when it comes to the table, but the giant work surface you’re afforded for your upholstery designs is completely worth it.

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8. Highlead GC0618-1SC Heavy Duty Compound Feed Walking Foot Machine

Highlead gc0618 1sc heavy duty compound feed walking foot machine

The difference between the industrial sized and heavy duty tabletop sewing machine design above and this next option is that this design does have a walking foot, which means the machine feeds the fabric through on its own thanks to a little cog underneath the presser foot. This is a machine detail that most people do appreciate having but that some will happily sacrifice for as much workspace as the tabletop design allows you. Just in case you’d much rather keep the walking foot, however, here’s an awesome equally industrial and heavy duty upholstery machine from Highlead that still has it.

This machine is another one that has an impressively high powered motor in order to give it extremely fast sewing speed (2000 rpm to be exact). Beyond that, this machine features adjustable stitch length with an impressive range, giving you more control while you create a whole variance of heavy duty upholstery projects. The machine also comes with a range of heavy duty needles, a range of very practical presser foots designed for different projects, and an extremely simple threading systems. This machine may not have its own full sized table, but its smaller table provides more work surface than the average beginner machine.

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9. Portable Walking-foot sewing machine

Portable walking foot sewing machine

Do you love the idea of an industrial upholstery sewing machine with its own walking foot, perhaps even with its own small table, but you’re also the kind of freelance gig based sewing enthusiast who likes having the freedom of moving your work and machine from space to space and take it with you for fittings and consultations, so you’re looking for something a little less heavy and cumbersome, without losing any function? Then we’re pretty sure this next design from Rex is absolutely the one for you!

This particular model is a walking foot machine just like the two we showed you above, and it does have its own small table space like the smaller industrial designs we showed you earlier, rather than the full tabletop setup. This time, however, the machine is built specifically to be light and portable rather than just durable, even though it’s still absolutely a heavy duty machine with a materiality that’s intentionally built for strength and weathering. The machine’s entire outer body is made of full cast iron metal, which has strength but isn’t incredibly, solidly heavy. The machine also has a strong, very fast motor and thick needles, giving it a combination that’s ideal for sewing thick fabrics and things like upholstery materials without breakage. Even on the go, this machine is easy to use with thicker, more heavy duty materials like nylon thread rather than the lighter stuff you might be used to using on your regular machine.

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10. Brother XM2701 Lightweight Sewing Machine

Brother xm2701 lightweight sewing machine

Have you been considering all of these heavy duty and industrial style sewing machines and thinking about just how durable they look but you’re actually just not sure that you’re ready to invest in something quite so intimidating as all of that? Well, particularly if you’re only just starting out in the world of upholstery and not doing the very heavy duty things at the moment but you could still use a new machine, here’s a more standardized sewing machine design that’s pretty regular but that’s still up for the challenge thanks to Brother.

This shockingly lightweight and affordable sewing machine might not look like it can handle the thickest of materials, but it’s actually built quite durably and has enough adjustable settings to account for changes in material thickness and unconventional properties to the kinds of things you might have originally learned to sew on. The machine features 27 built-in stitches, an automatic single step button hole maker, six different interchangeable sewing feet for different practical needs, and free arm capabilities for things like sleeves and neck holes. As if that’s not enough, the machine also comes with a full instructional DVD that will actually help you learn how and why this little machine can, in fact, be suitable for the lighter end of the scale when it comes to more heavy duty projects like upholstery.

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Conclusion

Do you know another talented DIY, crafting, and sewing enthusiast who has been thinking about investing in a brand new upholstery machine of their very own lately, but who also feels like they might need a little more guidance and information while they make their choice? Share this post with them so they have all kinds of recommendations and options to choose from in their search!