Leather is somehow difficult to stitch on a sewing machine. You will need a durable sewing machine and a walking foot that would not stick to the leather cloth. You will also want one with strong pace regulation because leather is the kind of fabric where even the tiniest flaw stands out. Sewing leather often necessitates the use of a leather needle.
Since leather sewing is a common interest, there are several options for leather sewing machines. There are basic prototypes for domestic use as well as certain high-end commercial options. Read on to learn more about what to look for when selecting a sewing machine for difficult projects.
What is a Leather Sewing Machine?
It is a machine that used to bind leather pieces together. It mechanically drives a needle through the leather fabric, sewing parts together, using either electrical or foot force. Although there are many different styles of sewing machines, the majority are designed to work with a variety of fabrics. Kinds of cotton, rayons, polyesters, muslins, linens, nylons, and other fabrics are examples.
Muslin, for example, is a thicker fiber that can be 0.32mm thick. The thickness of a thin 3oz weight leather is roughly 1.2mm. And it is a lot denser. With leathers as thick as 10 oz (4.0 mm) and heavier, a machine capable of pushing through the material is needed.
Sewing machines capable of handling heavy materials, such as leather, were built as a result. Owing to their ability to be used in factory, production, or heavy use applications, they are often referred to as heavy-duty or industrial devices.
If you want a machine with some add-ons, you can go for a quilting machine as it is also a sewing machine but offers a lot more features.
Hand stitching leather is possible, but it normally necessitates uniformly labeling the gaps, piercing the holes, and then making each stitch by hand. As a result, though efficient, this can be time and effort-intensive. This work is much easier, more precise, and effective when done with a leather sewing machine.
Is A Special Sewing Machine Required For Leather?
Yes, a special industrial sewing machine for leather is needed in most cases. When it comes to machine sewing leather, people often ask this question. If you are just getting started and want to try stitching on really light (1 oz) leather, you may be able to use a computer you either own or have access to.
Leather Sewing Machine Vs. Standard Sewing Machine
There are a few fundamental differences between leather sewing machines and standard sewing machines. These factors include power, weight, sound, foot controls, pressure foot, needles, thread thickness, thread type, maintenance, durability, stitch rate, and stitch length.
So, let us see how these two types of machines differ from each other.
The standard sewing machine has a power output of about 100 watts. Some of the commercial and leather sewing machines can deliver up to 550 watts of power and this is a big difference. Thicker, tougher leathers must also be pushed through. The leather sewing machines have a motor that is separate from the machine because the motors are so strong. They are hung below the table of the sewing machine and are connected by a belt that transmits power to the gears of the machine.
These devices are typically made from heavy components and require a sturdy table to rest on to have consistent stitches. Leather sewing machines can weigh up to 60 pounds, compared to 15 pounds for normal sewing machines.
Larger industrial machines typically make a bit more noise when in use. The prime reason is the usage of bigger mothers, who are noisier during surgery.
The sewing speed is regulated by pressing down on a small foot pedal on standard machines. Industrial sewing machines can have a platform large enough for both feet to rest comfortably.
A foot on most sewing machines causes the fabric to slip underneath it when the machine pushes it through. Leather is a little soggier because it necessitates a foot that helps it to move effortlessly into sewing machines. Leather sewing machines typically employ one of the following styles for this purpose:
Rather than gliding over the leather, an industrial sewing machine grips it. It aligns the grip and rotation of the feeding feet under the mater so that they shift in lockstep, uniformly moving the leather via the sewing machine.
This is a Teflon coated sewing machine presser foot that is widely used. Teflon’s properties make it virtually non stick, allowing the leather to flow right through smoothly
Little rollers are integrated into the foot of this type. They roll as the cloth makes contact with them, enabling the leather to flow easily through without being trapped.
Thin and able to piece more fragile materials are standard requirements. Kinds of cotton, for example, can be used with a #10 needle. Heavy needles scaled up to #20 may be used to stitch leathers on industrial machines.
Thickness of Thread
Leather sewing machines usually use thicker threads. A light #46 thread can be used on standard machines. #346, which is much thicker and heavier, could be used in an industrial sewing machine.
Type of Thread
For thinner fabrics, cotton threads are often used. Nylon or polyester thread is commonly used in leather sewing machines because it is thicker and can help tie together the heavier material.
Maintenance of the Machine
Oiling the mechanical components of standard sewing machines is recommended once a week. Leather sewing machines need to be oiled more often, about every 8 hours of operation. Depending on how much you use it, it may be once a day. Since they carry a lot more power than ordinary machines, proper oiling is needed to keep the mechanical parts running so well and smoothly.
A one-year warranty is possible for standard computers. Warranties on heavy-duty equipment can range from 5 to 25 years.
Normal sewing machines sew at about 850 stitches per minute (spm) and measured in stitches per minute (spm). Leather sewing machines can knit at speeds of up to 3,000 stitches per minute.
Stitch lengths of up to 6.5 mm are available on standard devices. Industrial robots have a resolution of around 10mm. Longer stitches may be used to bind tougher, heavy fabrics more safely.
Standard Sewing Machine
Leather Sewing Machine
|Power||100 Watts||550 Watts|
|Weight||15 pounds||60 pounds|
|Foot Control Size||Smaller||Larger|
|Presser Foot Type||Standard||Walking Foot|
|Thread Type||Cotton||Nylon or Polyester|
|Maintenance||Every week||Every eight hours of use|
|Warranty||1 year||5 to 25 years|
|Stitch Rate||850 spm||3,000 spm|
|Stitch Length||6.5 mm||10 mm|
Is It Possible To Use Vintage Sewing Machine For Leather?
Sewing leather can be done using a normal sewing machine. However, one must be conscious of one’s limitations. Using a normal computer and a very light (about 1oz) leather, for example, might operate. Needles made specifically for leather can be used. It is recommended that the thread be thicker than the standard thread. During usage, it’s essential to go slowly. The machine would need some time to reach the leather and finish the stitches.
Even then, pieces could fail. Anything depends on the computer, how it is cared for, and how it’s used. So, if you are curious about stitching leather and want to check it out before investing in a dedicated leather sewing machine, it’s possible.
What Type Of Thread Is Used For Leather?
Leather is typically stitched with nylon or polyester threads. The synthetic materials’ resilience is also advantageous to the finished parts, causing them to last longer. There are two types of nylon threads that are widely used.
The threads of nylon that make up the thread are glued together in this form, normally by a heating method. As a result, the threads are effectively combined into a single thread, making it stronger and more flexible, as well as resistant to wear and abrasions.
The wax layer on waxed nylon thread covers the whole outer layer of the thread. As a result, it is simpler to sew with. It also protects the fibers, making them more resistant to moisture and abrasion.
What Type Of Needles Required For Sewing Leather?
A leather sewing needle is specifically designed for stitching leather. Leather sewing needles are divided into two categories:
Hand Leather Sewing Needles
Leather needles with larger points are available to better pierce tough leathers. Curved needles (having semi-circular, half-moon shape) make pushing through tougher fabrics like leather and canvas smoother. Smaller needles make sewing smaller, lighter leathers smoother while still leaving a smaller opening.
Machine Leather Sewing Needles
Typically, there are straight needs of varying thicknesses. Insert these into leather sewing machines and you need to use them to stitch leather products mechanically.
Required Size of Needle
Leather sewing needles must be thicker and heavier than those used in normal sewing machines. Machine needles in the following sizes are often used for leather:
- 70/ 10
- 80/ 12
- 90/ 14
- 100/ 16
- 110/ 18
How To Maintain Your Leather Sewing Machine?
Just as proper maintenance ensures that tools operate optimally, proper leather sewing machine maintenance is vital to a properly working machine. There are a few points to bear in mind, including the following:
Oil The Machine
Oil the sewing machine on a regular basis. And the unit will have its own set of oil points that will need to be replenished on a regular basis. Leather sewing machines, in general, require regular oiling, usually every 8 hours of operation. Depending on how much you use it, it may be once a day. Since mechanical parts handle a lot of power, proper oiling required to keep them running so well and smoothly as compared to the standard sewing machine.
Clean The Dust
Examine any place where the thread moves along. You can see under the sewing pad, around the bobbing section, and around the thread guides. Keeping these areas clean would allow the threads to move through more easily, resulting in smoother, more even stitches.
Examine The Belts
Check all belts and stresses on a regular basis to ensure they are in good working condition and adequately tightened. When they are in good working order, they help to ensure that power transmits smoothly, and you do even and clean stitching.
Examine The Cables
Check the power cables on electrically driven equipment to make sure they do not nick, break, or fray. It is important that the cords remain in good condition because they normally bear a significant amount of electricity.
The following video will help you in better understanding:
As leather is a tough fabric to deal with, so it requires extra care and a robust machine for stitching. This article covers a thorough comparison between leather sewing machines and standard sewing machines. Also, all the possible queries about sewing leather have been mentioned above. If you are looking forward to sewing leather on your own, we will recommend you to buy the best vintage sewing machine for leather.
If you want to know what should be the considerations before buying a leather sewing machine, watch the video below: