Best Sewing Machine for Leather

Best Sewing Machine for Leather

Best Sewing Machine for Leather Overall

Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

5/5 Product Rating

Janome is one of the leading companies in sewing machine manufacturing. The HD3000 is a heavy duty machine that can handle the demands that sewing leather can put on it. 

The 18 stitches built in to the machine offer a platform for selection that makes choosing easy and include a one-step buttonhole so you can add buttons to clothing and other projects easily.

The stitch width and length adjustment are located on the front of the sewing machine for easy access.  Other features include the auto-threader that is user-friendly and easy to set up, a sewing speed of 860 stitches per minute, and has an adjustable presser.

One of the best things about this sewing machine is that it is jam proof so you don’t have to worry about working with leather; this machine can handle it. More popular features include the dial foot pressure adjustment, snap-on presser feet, auto thread cutter that is built-in, heavy duty frame and much more.  Accessories include bobbins, needles, and many other convenient accessories.

Best Budget Sewing Machine for Leather

SINGER Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine

4.8/5 Product Rating

One of the most well-known and respected brands for sewing machines on the market is SINGER.

The Heavy Duty 4423 is a great all-purpose sewing machine that can easily handle sewing leather, one of the toughest materials a sewing machine can sew through.

This machine comes with 23 stitches that are pre-set and include decorative, basic, stretch and buttonhole stitches.

Whether you are sewing quilts, clothing, home décor or crafts, the 4423 has you covered. Some of the great core features of this heavy duty machine include an automatic threader, transparent cover so you can see the bobbin, a heavy duty, durable metal frame, and a sewing speed of 100 stitches per minute.

Accessories include several presser feet including the zipper foot, quilting foot, bobbins, a screwdriver and much more. This sewing machine is perfect for creating all kinds of leather goods and will stand up to the demands of touch materials.

Best Portable Sewing Machine for Leather

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 Sewing Machine

4.7/5 Product Rating

Another great SINGER sewing machine that is equipped to handle the demands of sewing leather is the SINGER Quantum Stylist. 

This heavy duty machine has a lot of features that make it great for experienced sewers but it is not so complicated that a beginner can’t learn on it. 

There are 600 stitches pre-loaded on this machine to offer users a huge variety of stitches to choose from including 13 different 1-step buttonholes. The auto-pilot stitching feature is part of the fully computerized style. The high sewing speed of 850 stitches per minute allows you to complete your sewing projects efficiently and easily.

The backlit LCD display panel is user friendly and convenient.  There are many accessories that come with the Quantum. These accessories include several presser feet including the embroidery foot, all-purpose foot, open toe foot and many more.  This heavy duty sewing machine is perfect for those who work with heavier materials like leather, often.  It comes with a 25 year warranty.

Best Industrial Strength Sewing Machine for Leather

JUKI DNU-1541S Industrial Sewing Machine

4.6/5 Product Rating

JUKI’s industrial strength sewing machine is the perfect machine for those who work with leather on a regular basis. 

The straight stitch, single-needle, walking foot machine has safety features in place that prevent the machine from getting damaged if thread gets in the hook or some other problem.

The rectangular feed and walking foot technology allow heavy materials like leather to be sewn easily.  When you purchase the Juki Industrial sewing machine you will get a whole unit that includes the table, machine head, stand, sewing light, motor, drawer, and all the components already installed and ready for use.

The maximum sewing speed of this industrial machine is a whopping 2500 stitches per minute with a maximum stitch length of 9mm. Although this machine can be a bit noisy, if you work with leather on a commercial basis for a business, it is a great machine to have on hand to take the demands of working with heavy materials head without wearing out.

Summary for Best Sewing Machine for Leather

Leather is one of those “evergreen” materials that never get old thanks to its classic and stylish look. If you like to sew as a hobby or you sew for your own business, sewing leather can add a whole bunch items that will get noticed by your clients.

If you do want to work with leather a lot, you will benefit greatly by getting a sewing machine for leather that will make the work much easier.  So much easier in fact, that you will be able to create a lot of new leather items that could add a whole new element to your business.

The four sewing machines for leather that we have featured above are all excellent, heavy duty machines that can handle leather without missing a beat.  These machines are durable, long lasting and made from reputable companies known for quality.

Each one of the four choices comes with features that are designed to handle the demands and rigors of sewing through heavy materials like leather without jamming or having any problems. 

Below, we explain the difference between industrial and domestic sewing machines and cover many other features that you should consider before buying, such as general sewing machine performance on leather, availability of special-purpose feet and needles, etc.

Best Sewing Machine for Leather Buying Guide

Best Sewing Machine for Leather Buying Guide

There are many different types of sewing machines for sewing leather from simple domestic machines to heavy industrial designs. Looking for the best sewing machine for leather involves understanding what type of machines work best for this type of work as well as the kind of features they offer.

The best sewing machine for sewing enthusiasts that work a lot with leather and other heavy materials is one that will deliver efficiency, performance, and power as well as convenience. This does not mean that you automatically have to choose a machine that weighs a ton. There are some really great heavy duty sewing machines on the market that are feature rich and have powerful motors but still manage to keep the huge weight and bulk down.

Although trying to find the best sewing machine for leather in all the choices available can be confusing, it doesn’t have to be super difficult with the right information on hand. This buying guide will help provide you with tips and information that will make choosing the right sewing machine for leather easy and not stressful at all.

It is important to note that sewing leather is not the same as sewing other kinds of fabric. It is thicker and tougher than almost any other fabric. Lightweight sewing machines simply cannot handle the difficult of sewing the popular and heavy duty material. Some machines offer the capability of changing out the needle with one that can sew through leather but this is not the most efficient or reliable way to handle this tough fabric.

We have listed several things to take into consideration when you are looking for the perfect sewing machine to sew leather.

It starts with knowing your needs – the very first step that you need to take when looking for the best sewing machine for leather is to determine exactly what your needs are. What kind of projects will you be doing? What is the thickness of the leather you will working with? What kind of features are you looking for in a sewing machine? How often will you be working with leather? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you understand what type of sewing machine will work the best for your specific needs.

Industrial or Domestic? – One you know what you need the machine to be able to do you will be able to start looking for those specific features. You should decide early on whether you want to get an industrial machine or a domestic one. The industrial sewing machines can handle the touch, Thick leather pieces. You domestic models will be able to handle leather as well with the right features, although the leather pieces may need to be thinner and lighter in weight.

Machine construction – Sewing machines that have metal bodies are much more durable and long lasting than their plastic body counterparts. You also want to check on the construction of the needle and make sure it is tough enough to sew leather. Does the machine accommodate the type of thread you will need for your projects? Is the motor strong enough to drive the sewing machine for the kind of sewing you will be doing?

Best Sewing Machine for Leather Buying Guide

Personal preferences – Think about your lifestyle and the space you have for a sewing machine before you purchase. Is portability preferred due to your schedule and the space you have available? Some industrial sewing machines are super heavy and awkward to move; requiring a space they can be put in and left. Make sure you look at the maintenance and upkeep of different machines as well. Choosing a sewing machine that can sew leather easily is an investment that you want to last. Does the machine you are looking at require maintenance? The right machine will enable you to see as much leather as you want.

Power – As we have already stated sewing leather requires a strong sewing machine with plenty of power in the motor to stitch through it firmly and consistently. There are many different types of leather. Some leather is lightweight and easy to sew through; other leather is very stiff and thick and tough. The tougher and thicker the leather is you are working with, the more powerful your sewing machine needs to be.

Stitches – Many sewing machines come with a large variety of stitches and others, like the Juki industrial sewing machine, come with one straight stitch option. If you want to create a lot of different styles, find a sewing machine that can handle putting decorative stitches in the leather products you create.

Convenience – Look for a sewing machine that is relatively easy to use and that is comfortable for you while you are using it. Depending on the model of machine it is, you will find that some come with a lot of features and accessories and others are simpler in design. Take a look at customer reviews to monitor how easy the machine is to use. Also think about the features that will make the machine more convenient for you such as automatic winding and threading, and other time saying features like that.

Cost – Sewing machines have many different prices points that they fall into. Most often, the difference in price will be because of the features offered, size, capability, brand, and speed that each sewing machine has. You want to get the best sewing machine that you can afford. If you have a specific budget you want to stick to, be sure to keep that in the forefront of your mind while you are researching different models.

Brands – There are a few different companies on the market that manufacture sewing machines. When you are looking for the right one that can handle sewing leather, you will want to look at the company name as well. Brands like SINGER, Janome, Juki, and Brother are all well-known brands. Choosing a good brand will give you better performance, better features, and a durable machine that will last. Chances are there will be a good warranty in place as well.

What to Look For in a Sewing Machine for Leather

When researching different machines, consider these factors.

What will you use it for? – Knowing how you will be using your sewing machine and what you will be using it for are very important things to know. If you are going to be using it daily for creating products for your own business it is important that you get a machine that will be able to handle that load without breaking down.

The sewing machine’s weight – If you do not have a reason to move the sewing machine around, you can look for a heavy duty model that does not have to be moved all the time. If you teach or take classes, travel a lot, handle costumers for a theater group, etc. you will prefer the freedom a portable sewing machine offers.

The quality of Needles – Needles are a major consideration when it comes to sewing through leather. You want to look for strong needles that can easily handle the demands of sewing through this thicker material. Needles can either be strong enough to sew through it properly or they can end up ruining what you are working on. Be aware of those needles before you purchase the machine and make sure they are capable of handling leather sewing.

Best Sewing Machine for Leather Buying Guide

Good thread tension – You want the thread tension of your machine to be good while you are sewing. Many sewing machines will automatically readjust the tension of the thread so a tighter stitch is used when sewing your leather products. A tighter stitch can potentially break the thread but that can be handled easier than a machine that undercompensates and ends up ruining your leather piece with not enough tension.

Stitch Adjustment – When shopping around take note of the stitch adjustment that your machine offers. A sewing machine that you can customize will be able to accommodate your sewing projects. Longer stitch lengths are preferable because the longer stitch is going to be more secure and easier to manage.

Sharp and Strong needles – if you sew leather often you will notice that the needles can become dull fairly quickly. You don’t want to have the needles jam up your machine or break before the projects are done. Look for super durable needles that can withstand the rigors of sewing leather and make sure they stay sharp for the best results every time. Have extra needles on hand so you can change them out as needed

Thread type – Sewing leather requires a thread that is going to hold up well. Synthetic thread is a better choice for sewing leather than cotton. Rayon and Nylon are the most popular choices with experienced sewers and upholstery weight polyester thread. If you’re having trouble with the leather sliding easily through the machine, use baby powder to help make sewing easier.

Ease of Use – How easy a machine is to use is very important to the success of your projects. If you have chosen leather as the material that you want to use the most, you will want to make sure that the sewing machine you use can handle this thicker, tougher material without breaking but you also want it to be relatively simple to use. A machine that is super complicated will only frustrate and discourage the user. With all of the modern designs available nowadays, there is no need to settle for a machine that is difficult to use.


Leather clothing and products are very durable and long lasting as well as being some of the most attractive items you can find. Leather fashions are very popular with people of all ages. Leather items are also some of the most difficult ones you will encounter in your sewing adventures. The material is resistant to needles, thick, heavy, and not easy to sew through.

Using a traditional machine on leather can be a nightmare if the right needles aren’t used. For this reason it is important to choose a sewing machine that is designed for sewing leather. Buying a new sewing machine for leather can be tough if you don’t know what to look for but we have addressed that problem in this guide and with the reviews of the top rated sewing machines for leather that are above.

All four of our top rated choices have been reviewed for performance and features. You can take a look at all four of these and match their features against your specific needs and see if any one of them will work for what you will be doing. If not, the buying guide you have just read will help you look for the right features that will enable you to sew leather items easily.

This knowledge will help you sort through all of the choices on the market that will work well for sewing leather and eliminate the ones that do not interest you or that will not meet your needs. Once you have narrowed down the field you will be able to decide on the right model for your leather sewing needs.

Finding the right sewing machine for leather does not have to be a complicated or stressful endeavor. The requirements are simple and straightforward; high speeds, strong needles, strong construction, and other features that are similar are what make sewing through leather no different than sewing any other material. Once you have chosen and purchased the right sewing machine for leather for your home, you can get started creating all the leather masterpieces you want.