What kind of Sewing Machine do you need for Leather?

Leather is one of the most durable materials available and also one of the most difficult to work with. If you have ever tried working leather with a normal sewing machine, you will know that leather is tough to sew. Luckily, with the right type of leather sewing machine by your side you will be able to sew beautiful leather creations in no time flat. Since leather is not your normal, run of the mill material, it would make sense that you would need a different kind of sewing machine to successfully sew leather.

One thing to remember is that when you are working with leather there is no room for error. One stitch in the wrong place and everything is ruined by a small yet permanent hole. Another problem with leather is the fact that it tends to stick to the presser foot or throat plate of most standard sewing machines. A leather sewing machine should be able to perform a series of longer length stitch options. Longer stitches provide a stronger and durable seam when working with leather material.

There are two basic types of leather sewing machines on the market today; Residential and industrial machines. Residential machines are all in one units which will allow you to perform very basic leather applications with a thickness of 3/16”. This can be achieved only with the use of proper leather needles.

If your material is thicker than 3/16”, you might want to consider investing in an industrial leather sewing machine. However, an industrial machine needs plenty of looking after to keep it working optimally. You will need to oil the components of your machine after every session and when it’s not being used.

How to Thread Singer Leather Sewing Machines?

If you are not familiar with the procedure of threading a sewing machine then this might be tricky but the more you do it, the quicker you will get the hang of it. Follow this easy guide to threading your leather sewing machine. A leather sewing machine uses two different thread sources; a top thread and a lower thread. Both of these are stored on a bobbin. To wind the bobbin, place the bobbin spool onto the top bobbin winder.

Guide the thread through the loops and wrap it around the guide and to the bobbin. Turn the bobbin winder on and wait for it to stop automatically. Once this is complete, take the thread from the bobbin on the top of the machine and pull it down through the thread guide and around the take up lever. There should be small numbers and arrows printed on the machine which show you which way to thread the machine.

What size thread for leather sewing?

Leather is a tough, resistant type of material which ironically needs to be handled very carefully. One wrong stitch and your whole project will be ruined. Like other kinds of material, leather comes in a variety of weights and thickness. It would be a dire mistake to use normal thread on a piece of leather as it is just not strong enough to hold it together. Bonded nylon thread is the best type of thread to use when sewing leather material because of its strength and smoothness which helps prevent friction.

Bonded nylon thread can be used to make attractively tight seams without unravelling. When sewing leather with a sewing machine, the stitches need to be short enough to provide a tight and neat seam. Try not to sew the stitches too close together or you will weaken the leather by adding too many perforations.

The higher the number on the bonded nylon thread, the thicker the thread will be. When sewing heavy leather items such as 12oz or thicker, a thread number of #207 or #227 is advised. Remember to lengthen your stitches when using a thicker thread so as to create even spacing and minimise degradation and tearing.

Which is Better Operated Leather Sewing Machine or an Electric One?

Mechanical or manual leather sewing machines are generally cheaper than computerized electric ones and have a longer life expectancy too. Since manually operated machines have no intricate electronic components, they are easier to maintain. On the downside, manual sewing machines have fewer stitches than electronic ones and also less buttonhole options.  For inexperienced sewers, manual machines might prove challenging since you have to figure put the settings on your own.

Electric Leather Sewing MachineManual sewing machines some in heavy duty or industrial size which allows you to sew through virtually any kind of material. Electronic leather sewing machines have all sorts of automatic features such as automatic needle threader, thread cutter and auto tension. These features can save a lot of time and frustration especially for beginners. One of the best features that electronic machines offer is the “lock-stitch” function which allows you to finish your stitching underneath for a neater finish.

Unlike manual machines, electronic ones have hundreds of stitching options which include letters and symbols. Buttonholes are a breeze with an electronic machine thanks to the button hole foot attachment. Electronic sewing machines have better speed control which is great for sewing with tricky leather material.

Unfortunately, electronic machines can be overwhelming and confusing for anyone lacking a bit of techno savvy. They are way more expensive than manual machines and sometimes have features that you might never use. Electronic machines are not long lasting and can often suffer from bugs and glitches because of their computerized motherboard and other components.


Leather material can be tricky to work with as you get one chance and one chance only to get the stitches in the right place. Choose the correct thread thickness to ensure that your stitching is strong enough to support your leather applications without it tearing or pulling apart at the seams.