We’ve been sewing for a number of years now and, if we’re being honest, we’re quite proud indeed of how far our skills have come! Now that we feel like we’ve mastered the basics and moved beyond beginner status, we’ve started experimenting a little bit with working with new and different kinds of materials, which has been challenging but very exciting. For example, we’ve tried working with leather a few times now and we were very pleasantly surprised with just how much we adored the whole experience!
The only drawback was how we immediately realized that our little beginner’s sewing machine, which we’ve practically used into the ground, will absolutely need upgrading if we’re going to start sewing at a larger capacity anyways, let alone if we start using hardier materials. That’s why we’ve been on the hunt lately for more durable and heavy duty machines that will survive these new fabrics, especially the leather we loved using so much, with a little more success!
What is the best sewing machine for heavy leather?
As with every investment style purchase we make, we decided that it was necessary to do a bit of research before we put any money on the table. That’s how we found ourselves scouring the Internet for the best heavy duty, leather appropriate sewing machines that the Internet had to offer! Once we’d made our decision, we realized that we’d already put together a list worth sharing with others who might have the same needs, so we decided it should become a helpful recommendations post.
Check out these 10 durable and professional leather-ready sewing machines that caught our eye!
If you’re going to invest your money in a new heavy duty sewing machine, would you also like to make sure you equip yourself with everything you need to keep it running while you work with those tough materials? Then we think you’ll appreciate the way this durable, professional quality design from Janome also includes a series of accessories and refills in its package, just to help you really cover all your bases. It’s not so much that the machine will need backups because it can’t handle hardier materials, but rather that the manufacturers want to make sure that you’ll be able to use materials of all different kinds!
This machine, which is built with a hard metal exterior and comes with a matching hard carrying case, is particularly notable for how many interchangeable presser feet it offers, allowing it to adapt to all kinds of different materials. With this machine, you’ll get an ultra glide foot, blind hem foot, overedge foot, rolled hem foot, zipper foot, and buttonhole foot. Perhaps most notably, you’ll also get a pack of needles specifically intended for tougher materials, including a kind that’s actually built specifically for sewing leather!View price on Amazon
When we very first started our search, we got the impression that most of the heavy duty machines we were going to have to choose from were straight forward industrial ones that might not let us do some of the fancier stitches and techniques that we’d been hoping, the way our smaller and more fabric based machine would. We were almost disappointed, but that’s when we started coming across models like this one from Brother that still has a full range of features even though it’s built specifically durable enough to handle things like leather!
This award winning machine boasts 37 different styles of built-in stitch settings and also automatic buttonhole, threading, and snag-free drop in bobbin systems, making it incredibly easy to use. The dials and navigations on the machine are intuitive and illustrated, making them accessible while you’re working on something so that your pace and workflow aren’t interrupted terribly, even if you’re working with something tricky like leather.View price on Amazon
Are you absolutely interested in making your next sewing machine one that’s extremely durable but you’re also feeling intent on making sure it’s very well equipped as well, even more so than the one we showed you above? Well, particularly if your biggest love besides leather work is machine embroidery, then we’re pretty sure we’ve found just the kind of machine you’re looking for in this heavy duty but computerized model from SINGER!
Perhaps one of the biggest perks of this machine, besides its computer screen and programming, is its larger work surface. This feature does not, however, render the machine cumbersome and hard to move. Instead, the table piece is detachable so that the machine is still portable! On top of its good work space and a deceptively heavy duty materiality, this machine also gives you a large touch screen for making stitch adjustments, over 600 hundred possible stitch options and combinations complete with a strong enough auto-pilot mode to work like a proper embroidery machine even on leather, and a high speed motor that’s responsible for giving the heavy duty needle the drive it needs to make leather projects happen.View price on Amazon
Have we really got your attention with this whole idea of heavy duty materiality and high powered motors, but you’d prefer a much more straight forward machine that clearly prioritizes that over bells and whistles, even if you still want a few of the more practical built-in stitch options? Then we’d be willing to bet that you’ll get along a little better with something like this specifically heavy dity designed machine from SINGER.
Compared to most regular sewing machines, like the one you probably learned on and the one we’re looking to upgrade, this machine’s motor was purposely designed to be 60% more powerful, making it ideal for working on leather in combination with strengthened needles. Despite being purposely designed for more basic function, this machine still has a number of useful built-in stitches that almost any user is bound to appreciate; these include 23 practical ones and 12 decorative ones. The machine also features an automatic threader that makes for very quick preparation no matter what kind of fabric you’re using.View price on Amazon
Have you always been the kind of sewing enthusiast who prefers a much more simplified and industrial type of machine, especially in the heavy duty department, than the kind with all different knobs, screens, bells, and whistles? Well, if you’re still intent on finding one that does offer built-in stitching features at the same time as it withstands leather but you’re also in the market for something that feels a lot more minimalist to use, then we’d be willing to bet that this machine from Reliable might be a little more up your alley.
This durable metal sewing machine with its flat an extra wide table was created with a durable materiality purposely intended to face some wear and tear from heavy materials. Although it doesn’t look like it’s packed with features on first glance, this machine actually presents you with a high power sewing speed of 800 stitches per minute (which gives you the torque to get your needle through something like leather but without going at such a break neck speed that the needle shatters), an impressive 8mm of clearance under the presser foot for sewing many layers of thin fabric at once or thicker, heavier materials, and a built-in speed reducer that senses when a part of the project has gotten thicker and therefore needs more concentrated power and less speed in movement. You can also adjust the length and width of your stitches!View price on Amazon
Are you feeling quite sold on the idea of a slightly more minimalist industrial style sewing machine but you’re just not sure that you need one quite as heavy duty as the workshop style machine you saw above? Then perhaps this simple looking but realistically rather strong machine from Juki will be a little more along the lines of what you’re looking for! Because it was created for a range of projects beyond regular machine sewing, like quilting and tailoring, its durability is more than sufficient for sewing leather as well.
Perhaps the biggest difference between this “regular” looking machine and the rest you’ve seen on here, which makes it bridge the gap slightly between those and the more industrial warehouse style machine, is the presser foot gap that it provides. Like the one above, this machine gives you a larger gap between the feed on the work surface and the presser foots raised position, letting the foot rest flexibly wherever it needs to depending on how thick what you’re sewing is. Unlike the previous machine, this one actually does use speed as power instead of being able to sense when slower is better; you’re in control of that with your presser foot this time. This machine’s motor gives you 1600 stitches per minute.View price on Amazon
Has your favourite model on this list so far actually been the computerized one with all of the programmed options but you’re not feeling entirely sold yet and you can’t help wishing you’d seen a slightly larger surface to work with there? Then maybe you’ll find a little more of what you’re looking for in this model offered by Brother! This particular design is actually intended for regular sewing and quilting but, so long as you’re not trying to sew something that layers many pieces of leather at once, the construction of this machine should be absolutely sufficient.
Thanks to convenient pictorials and easy to use buttons and dials, you’ll get to choose from 60 built-in stitches and seven one-step button holes with this machine, each of which is designed to work on a range of fabrics and materials, including hardy ones like leather. The machine might be simpler than some of the programmable and computerized options you’ve seen so far, but it’s still useful for customizing which stitches might be used in combination with each other and in what order, even on thick materials like fabric. The table top even has a detachable piece that will give you a free arm feature, just in case you want to make leather clothing and need to finish things like neck holes and sleeves!View price on Amazon
Are you actually only just starting out in the world of sewing so you are looking for a super durable machine that will withstand your eventual goal of sewing thicker things like leather, but you’re also still prioritizing simplicity and user friendliness over all as well? Then, particularly if you find dials the most appealing navigational feature you’ve seen so far, then we’d definitely suggest giving this model from Janome some consideration and thought.
This machine offers primarily the basics bit it does so in a strong, durable way that’s specifically intended to withstand a big of weathering, partially due to the fact that it’s marketed as a professional quality machine but also one geared towards learners thanks to its easy layout. The machine has a scratch resistant metal exterior and equally strong carrying case, and it also comes with a complete kit of extras that will help get you set up if you aren’t already, like extra needles, bobbins, a range of strong steel presser feet, and more. The machine also gives you several opportunities to adjust and customize your sewing experience by changing things like stitch length and width and foot pressure. This is part of what make sit suitable for sewing with thicker materials like leather.View price on Amazon
Did you really like the basic concept of the machine above because a basic and nearly learner’s but absolutely leather-worthy machine is right in your wheelhouse but you’re hesitant to settle on the first machine like that you see because you’re working on a strict budget and would prefer to shop around? Then we think you’ll be thrilled to learn that this fantastic and accessible but surprisingly heavy duty machine is currently going for under $100 thanks to Brother!
This machine might be lightweight, but its steel features are designed to withstand most materials and the special kind of pressure and weathering a learner can put a machine that they’re new to using through; something that requires a lot more strength than one might think initially. Although the aim for these designers was to keep things simple, the machine still has 27 practical and decorative built-in stitch settings that can be used in combination on any material. Additionally, this particular package gives you six different presser feet that let you adapt your machine to work with things like leather versus other, thinner fabrics.View price on Amazon
Have your favourite options on this list so far absolutely been the ones that have a computerized element, high durability, and a larger work space but you’re also wondering whether you might find one that’s a little longer in the base, since the things you like to make from leather do take up quite a bit more room? Then we have a sneaking suspicion you might prefer this model from Brother that offers all of the above!
Despite the wide variety of programmed stitch options, the strength of the machines materiality, and the increased work surface that it offers, this model is the best priced computerized option on this list. Its large LCD screen lets you simply select from eight different automatic buttonhole settings as well as 110 built-in stitches that were actually hand selected by experts specifically for this machine, since it’s the Project Runway Limited Edition model used on the popular TV show. If it can withstand the level of creative production that designers on a televised competitions might make in a rush, it can withstand you creating a garment from leather!View price on Amazon
Do you know another DIY lover and sewing enthusiast who has been thinking about upping their game by investing in a more heavy duty machine, but you really want to make sure you get the right one since working with leather specifically is your favourite thing to do? Then share this post with them so they have all kinds of good information to work with while they consider which machine they might purchase!