When you think about the material leather, it is having a fashionable and an air of superiority to it. The material is thick, resistant, and difficult to hand sew though some have been known to get out the old needle and thread and sew by hand or use a regular sewing machine. However, if you want to stand out in the fashion world and be the king or queen of leather products then it would be wise to use a sewing machine that was made for leather uses.
When it comes to sewing machines, you have your industrial machines that are often used for specific purposes and they perform a lot better due to the high usage or if you are the type to sew once in a while you might want to stick to a domestic-use sewing machine which is cheaper and will still cover your needs just as well.
Leather Sewing Machine: Domestic Vs Industrial:
The difference is quite straightforward; a domestic sewing machine uses weaker needles and has smaller engines but can work with a larger array of fabrics whereas an industrial sewing machine is mainly used for specific fabrics and is created for that sturdiness.
What does that mean?
If you are dealing with making things like jackets or wallets/purses which focus on using thin leather then an everyday sewing machine is perfect for you. Your everyday domestic sewing machines are also powered by amps. Whereas if you were wanting to make chaps or holsters, items that use heavy-duty and thicker leather an industrial sewing machine is your best bet and these are horse-powered machines.
If you are a once in a while sewer and doing the odd small projects, then a domestic sewing machine will suit your needs as it is compactable, lighter and doesn’t take up much space and easier to carry around and also you can relax with a domestic sewing machine as it has a slower pace compared with an industrial sewing machine which has a faster pace as they are designed for bulk orders and they are bulkier and heavier and not designed to be portable.
In terms of needles, you will notice that on a domestic sewing machine that the needle is smaller and weaker, so if you get pricked by it – it will hurt but not cause too much damage. An industrial sewing machine is designed for huge products, the needles are thicker and larger as they are designed to easily go through the thick material like heavy-duty leather.
Why is sewing with leather different?
Like many other fabrics, leather isn’t made up of a variety of fibers and contains a dense structure. A vital point when working with leather is to be careful as if the needle does pierce the leather it will leave a permanent mark which will not be able to ever be removed but look on the positive side, unlike other fabrics available, you will never have those dastardly frayed ends with leather objects that you have sewn.
The other bonus about leather is that it is a natural product as it does come from animal hides and though these can contain imperfections or flaws, this actually can increase the price of your item as it adds charm and proves to outsiders that this is the real deal. If the flawed look is a bit too much you can plan by cutting the material to the exact size needed and getting rid of the flawed leather.
A reason that you need to ensure that you have the perfect machine when choosing to sew your leather is that it can be very expensive at approximately 100 pounds per full animal hide and also it contains a sticky residue which can make it hard to feed through your sewing machines.
Do you need a leather sewing machine?
Unlike working with cheaper fabrics one of the downsides of working with leather, is that you have to make sure that you can handle it accurately as one tiny mistake and your piece of leather is now worthless and you have just wasted at least a hundred pounds.
The best sewing machines for your leather products need to have a longer stitch length option as this will provide a more durable and secure seam.
A handy tip to make sure that your sewing machine can handle the leather is to use a scrap of the leather material, that way you can test to see whether the sewing machine you have at home is up to the task and will let you know whether this machine can handle it or if it is time for an upgrade.
What presser feet will I need for sewing leather?
As leather has that sticky surface and is known for sometimes getting stuck in the machine, the best presser foot to use is either a Teflon or roller foot. If you cannot get one of these types of feet immediately, a DIY option is to place a bit of tape over the bottom of the presser foot and it should glide more gently.
Can I oil my machine by myself or do I have to get this done professionally?
As not all sewing machines need oiling, before making the executive decision to oil your machine then check first to see if it needs this upkeep. All the information should be in the instruction manuals that come with your sewing machines when you purchase it or these days you should be able to find out the manuals for your machine online.
As always like with any product, if you are unsure and confused then it does pay to check with a professional as you could cause more unnecessary damage to your sewing machine which could end up a costly endeavor.
Which threads should I use for sewing the leather with my machine?
As leather is thick and can be anywhere between 1mm- 3mm in size and is a stiff material to use, the best threads are stronger and durables like nylon or polyester.