What’s the Best Sewing Machine to Sew Leather?

Singer 20-U: One of the best sewing machine for leatherLeather can be interesting to work with - many patterns call for it, but if you’ve never used it before some problems can arise.

To determine the best sewing machine for this use, it depends on what kind of leather you’ll be using.

For thin or medium leather, the best sewing machine is probably what you have :) So long as you keep in mind the points below you should be okay. Modern machines are powerful for simple leather projects.

For thick or tough leather, things get a little more complicated. At this class of fabric it can be like sewing 4 or more layers of denim!

The best sewing machine will be one that can:

  • Take the heavy thread you’ll need. Many experts recommend against cotton thread, and prefer polyester thread.
  • Use the heaviest needle size possible. A 11, 14, or 16 would be good.
  • Make as wide a stitch as possible. 5 to 5-1/2 is a good idea. If your machine can’t go above 3-1/2, don’t use it - it might rip the leather.
  • Take a teflon or walker foot.

The most important consideration is using the best sewing machine needles for leather. Because leather will rip if the stitches are not wide enough apart you can get special needles. These are called knife edged needles made just for sewing leather, or a double needle.

For specific examples, many experts believe the best sewing machine for leather to be a Singer 20-U, Bernina 950, or an industrial class Pfaff or Brother. These are all good sewing machines for leather. If funds are tight, don’t overlook what you already have.

Happy Sewing - I’m sure it will turn out great!

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4 Responses to “What’s the Best Sewing Machine to Sew Leather?”

  1. Rich

    I work strictly with leather and this is the machine that does the job for me.

  2. Melissa

    I have a singer touch and sew II and when I try to sew two pieces of leather together, the needle wont catch the bobbin thread to sew them together. What am I doing wrong?

  3. Jay

    Hi All…

    Completely new to this. Im looking for a machine that will not only be good for leather ( bags mainly ) but also able to sew canvas, and cotton…Would the Singer 20U do everything i require? Also would it be able to achieve many different types of stitch? Any help would be appreciated…

  4. Joanne

    Try a search or consoles their do up to 1/4 inch of leather. I’m nth an expert but I know that you need a triple dog feeder so that your layers don’t slide. Also they have stainless steel feet and won’t mark your leather. If money is not a. Big factor, look at cowboy and the cobra 4. They’re a cylinder machine. You have 9_16 inches for sew purse in fact there’s a video on the cobra website and tube.

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