Anyone who loves working with leather would find indulging in their passion quite challenging without leather sewing machines. While regular sewing machines can handle most types of fabric used around the home, only a durable leather sewing machine can stand up to the wear and tear of working and creating with heavy-duty materials including leather, canvas, vinyl, patent leather, webbing or plastics.
Salient Features of Leather Sewing Machines
Machines for sewing leather look like standard models but they are made from much sturdier components capable of handling heavy-duty thread. Additionally, they use a complicated feeding mechanism that allows it to sew through several layers of heavy material. Sewing machines for leather can adjust the thread tension automatically depending on the thickness of the material.
Another difference is that many of these models use a cylindrical arm rather than a flat bed like that found on standard machines. The cylinder allows for better maneuverability of the heavy material. Many leather machines also come with a flatbed attachment. Another version is known as the “postbed” machine, which has a vertical working surface so that the seamstress can use both hands while fashioning a garment.
A standard feature on many leather sewing machines is the rotary blade cutters, which make it easier to work on harnesses and saddles, two products commonly made with this type of machine. These cutters eliminate fringes and frayed edges and help you get a better finish.
Choosing the Right Needle & Thread is Important
Two of the most prominent differences you will find between a leather sewing machine and its fabric counterpart are the type of needle and the type of thread that is used.
Special category needles are used for sewing leather. The needles are sturdier and sharper than regular needles so that they can pierce the leather neatly for a cleaner finish. Regular needles are not sturdy enough to pierce through the thick material and are more likely to break with the excess pressure that is required.
The thread used also belongs to a special category. Regular threads are not suitable for sewing leather as they do not provide sufficient strength to hold this heavy material together. Threads suitable for sewing leather are usually made of rayon or polyester blends and are much thicker and stronger than regular threads.
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SINGER 4423 Heavy Duty Model Sewing Machine
A powerful motor supported by a sturdy metal frame, accelerated sewing speed and a stainless steel bedplate makes the Singer 4423 a true workhorse that can sew through just about anything you throw at it. With its extra high presser foot lifter, automatic foot pressure control and 5 mm stitch width, this machine is worth every dime if you are into serious leather sewing.
Singer CG-550 10-Stitch Commercial Grade Sewing Machine
The motor of the Singer CG 550 is 60 percent stronger than standard sewing machines, which means it will sew through leather like butter. Its free arm sewing makes it easy to sew hard to reach areas, making it a great buy for anyone who does a lot of complex leather work, such as sewing jackets, saddle skirts or gun holsters.