What’s the Best Sewing Machine for Leather?

Best Sewing Machine for Leather

Let Leather Take The Lead

Leather is timeless, durable, stylish. It can do casual or classy equally well. Leather comes in a diverse range of grades and tans, meaning there truly is something for everyone.

If you are looking to get into working with leather, you will need a dedicated leather sewing machine. You will also need to invest in plenty of leather work needles. Make sure you buy the right needle for the kind of leather you’re working with. Buffalo hide is very different to calfskin, for example.

Whether you just want to know you have the means to repair your favorite leather jacket, or are looking to create leather items such as dog collars and leashes for sale, our helpful reviews can guide you to the best machine for your needs.

Land of Leather

Once you have a leather sewing machine, and a good selection of leather stitching needles and thread, the world is your oyster.

You can repair much-loved leather clothing, or create unique statement pieces.

If you regularly make items for sale, a leather sewing machine means you can easily add belts, purses, and pet accessories to your product range. These are all practical as well as popular items, and should sell well.

Throw in a handcrafting leather tool or two, and you can easily add stylish designs. These can be very simple – some initials, for example – or more intricate, depending on your level of interest and ability.

The 5 Best Sewing Machines for Leatherwork

#1 – Janone HD3000

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The Janome HD3000 comes with a range of accessories, including a good selection of leather working needles. It is intuitive and easy to use, and features an automatic buttonholer, as well as auto-needle threading and stitch selection.

The HD3000 comes with a full instruction manual, and there is an accessible storage compartment, built on to the machine so you can keep your work space clear.

It can be a little noisy when it’s running, but for most people that’s an acceptable trade for the functionality of this machine.

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#2 – Sailrite Ultrafeed

Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Basic Walking Foot Sewing Machine

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The Sailrite Heavy Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 comes with a range of accessories. It also handles far more than just leather. With this machine, you can also work with thick sailcloth, corduroy, suede, and vinyl. This makes the Sailrite an ideal machine for those who value diversity in their projects, or for those whose business involves frequent repairs to a range of heavy duty fabrics.

The Sailrite can handle straight and zig zag stitch. Zig zag stitch is a basic hemming stitch, and this functionality offers a wide range of possibilities for this machine and its user.

The one major drawback of the Sailrite is that the machine’s teeth can easily mark the leather if you’re not very careful in how you move and handle it whilst working. This makes the Sailrite a poor choice for those doing a high volume of professional-quality leatherwork.

The Sailrite is also not very portable, so would best suit someone with a dedicated work room.

It does come with an instructional DVD, making it a potential option of those who are simply looking to experiment with leather sewing.

Sailrite Heavy-Duty Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Basic Walking Foot Sewing Machine
  • Zigzag/straight stitch walking foot sewing machine that easily sews through heavy materials like sailcloth, heavy canvas, denim, and...
  • Includes the Power Plus Balance Wheel, which offers twice the power and size of a traditional flywheel.
  • The patented Posi-Pin clutching system provides 100% power transfer from the balance wheel to the needle.

#3 – Singer CG590

Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine

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The Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine is, as with so many things labeled “commercial grade”, actually aimed more at the small craft business than a genuine commercial operation. However, if your main focus is creating quality leather goods, on a regular basis, for sale online, or at markets and fayres, than there’s no reason not to seriously consider the CG590.

The CG590 is designed to handle garment weight leather, and features a durable stainless steel bedplate to set your leather on. This handles the repeated “shocks” from the heavy duty leather work needles with aplomb, and gives increased longevity to your machine.

This machine can run at up to 1,100spm (stitches per minute). This is an exceptionally good speed considering the toughness of leather. It can also be adjusted for slower speeds, which are better suited to detail work.

The CG590 features 18 built in stitches, and easily adjustable stitch length and width for custom work. It comes with a range of accessories, and a carry handle for easy portability.

As long as you remember that this machine is less commercial focused and more “professional hobbyist”, it will be an enjoyable purchase, and a worthwhile investment.

Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine
  • Sews at an Impressive 1,100 Stitches Per Minute - When it comes to professional work it is about quality and speed
  • Stainless Steel Bed Plate - Made to Accommodate the Abuse and Needs of a Professional Sewer
  • 18 Built-In Stitches Including a Four-Step Buttonhole / Free Arm Capability - Sew Pants Legs, Cuffs and other Hard to Sew Garments with Ease

#4 – Brother Strong and Tough

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 37 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Option, 6 Included...

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The Brother ST371HD Strong and Tough can handle multiple layers of heavy duty fabric. It has a stainless steel bedplate, to absorb shocks from the needles and enhance the longevity of the machine, and it comes with a range of leather working needles.

The ST371HD features 37 built in stitches, and an easy stitch selector. It comes with an instructional DVD, and a range of non-stick feet suitable for use on a range of textiles, including leather, suede, and vinyl.

The ST371HD has a very steep learning curve, and is definitely not a beginner’s machine. It is also not a commercial grade machine. The ST371HD is best suited to the experienced professional hobbyist looking to improve and increase their product range.

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 37 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Option, 6 Included...
  • 37 unique built-in stitches: The Brother ST371HD features 37 built-in stitches including an auto-size buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader and drop-in top bobbin: This sewing machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes the thread...
  • Included accessories: The ST371HD heavy duty sewing machine includes 6 sewing feet, instructional DVD, manual and more

#5 – Tippman Leather

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Finally, the Tippman Leather Sewing Machine is a strong, aluminum construction sewing machine. It features adjustable stitch length, and would suit someone looking for a solid, durable, basic machine. If you’re only looking to do repairs, this could well be the machine for you. However, it is a very expensive, and quite basic, machine, and the warranty offered is limited.

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Little Extras

Even when you let a sewing machine do the hard labor, there is something about leather that just cries out for a little bit of handcrafting.

That’s where the WellieSTR 18pc Leather Craft Tool Kit comes in. With a range of tools for various levels of detail work, this tool kit would make a great gift for the beginning leather enthusiast. It would be better if it came with a case, rather than just being wrapped in plastic, but you could always purchase a case separately.

Leather Carft Tools Set Kit 18pcs, DIY Sewing Craft Tool with Hand Sewing Needles Drilling Awl,...
  • 【Leather Tools 18pcs Set:】This leather tools set includes Awl, Polish Tool, Skiving Knife, Punch Tool, Chisel, Skiving Tool and so on,...
  • 【DIY Your Leather:】The leather craft tools can help you to make your own unique design and pattern on wallets, handbags, belt,sewing...
  • 【Duarable Easy to Use:】The DIY sewing craft tool set comes with stitching awls, finger cots and other items make them much easier to...

If you enjoy slow, steady detail work, why not purchase this tool kit for yourself?

Hand tooling is the ideal way to add value and interest to you leather goods. Whether it’s a simple initialing or a more intricate design, this eighteen-piece tool kit will help you put the finishing touch on your projects and products.