Can sewing machines sew leather?

No one can deny the attraction and charm of leather clothes, accessories, or apparel. Whether it is a jacket, hat, bag, or shoes, leather attracts humans’ eyes and locks them right there.

As much as leather is charming, when you get closer, you will get to see that they are extremely expensive and most of the time look a waste of money as people think that they can buy twice or maybe thrice a piece of the same apparel in any other garment. This is the point when people start thinking questions like:

Can sewing machines sew leather

Can I sew leather at home? Can sewing machines sew leather? Can a regular sewing machine sew leather? Well, the single-word answer is Yes but to get things right and sew leather without any errors, you need to have some additional knowledge and upgrades needed for your sewing machine to sew leather.

This article will show you which sewing machine that will sew leather and how do you sew leather on a sewing machine at home.

Will a regular sewing machine sew leather?

can i sew leather with a regular sewing machine

Yes, a regular or home sewing machine can sew leather or all types. The quality of the sewing machine should be high because a low-quality sewing machine doesn’t have enough power.

The higher the quality sewing machine you use, the better results you will get while sewing leather. However, you still have to make a few upgrades to your regular machine to make it capable of sewing hard garments like leather.

Can an electric sewing machine sew leather?

can you use electric sewing machine to sew leather

Yes, an electric sewing machine or a foot-power sewing machine can sew leather but only if it works on high voltage to have more power. It is quite hard to pass the needle through the leather if your electric machine is ordinary or has less power.

However, electric machines are specially categorized to sew a wide range of garments mainly including cotton, muslin, linens, rayons, nylons, polyesters, and many more.

How thick of leather can a sewing machine sew?

It depends majorly on the power and type of sewing machine you are using but in general, a good quality sewing machine can easily pass the needle through 3 layers of medium-weight leather.

Do keep this fact in mind that while working on the folded edges, the layers will be multiplied and you may need a high-quality machine that can go beyond 3 layers.

You may sew leather that has 1-2 layers so that you have to sew 2-4 layers on folded edges, or you can simply solve the issues by modifying your sewing machine.

What sewing machines will stitch leather?

Any regular swimming machine can stitch leather in its original condition after some modifications. However, some of the best and most recommended swimming machines that can help you in sewing leather include the following:

  • Singer Heavy Duty 4423
  • Sailrite Heavy-Duty
  • Janome HD 3000
  • Singer Sew Mate 5400
  • TechSew 2700
  • Singer Quantum Stylist 9960
  • Toyota J34 Super Jeans
  • Brother CS6000i
  • Brother ST371HD
  • Juki TL-2010Q

What sewing machine needle do I need to sew leather?

For leather with 1.6mm thickness, an R-point Groz Beckert needle is considered the best to sew efficiently. This type of needle is sharp enough to make a hole and pass through the leather without any major force.

However, if you are sewing leather that is above the 4oz or 1.6mm thickness, it is better to go with Cutting Point needles which are also known as Leather Point needles.

These needles are specifically recommended for leather and you should look on the label as there will be mentioned “Leather”. Make sure you have more than one needle as they can break down during the sewing process.

Can you use pins to hold pieces before sewing leather?

No, you should never use pins on leather as they will pinch a permanent hole in the fabrics. It is always the best option to tape different pieces together before sewing leather or while keeping them in place. You can easily get rid of tape after the job is done without affecting or damaging the fabric.

Tips to make sewing machine sew leather:

It is mentioned by experts and everyday users that you need some modifications made to your regular sewing machine before you move on to sewing leather. So, below are the major modifications that can make your sewing machine effectively capable of sewing leather without any problems.

1. Replace the presser foot

The first thing is to replace the regular presser foot with a Teflon or roller foot. The thing is that a regular presser foot does not allow leather to slide flawlessly which results in wrong stitches or issues while the replacement presser feet are well suitable to feed leather efficiently.

2. Install heavy-duty leather needle

A regular needle will break down on the first stitch therefore you need to replace it with a heavy-duty needle which is mentioned to work effortlessly with leather fabrics. You can verify this by looking for a needle pack labeled “Leather”.

3. Increase stitch length

Increase the stitch length while sewing leather fabrics. Most people say that they find 3.5 as the best minimum stitch length while sewing leather. However, you can increase even more until you get the desired results.

4. Use high-quality thread

Tannins in leather can wear out the cotton thread so it is an essential step to use nylon or polyester threads instead of cotton for leather fabrics. You may also go for a heavy-duty or top-stitching thread as they are not only strong but look charming as well.

5. Test the machine, threads, etc

Fixing a wrong stitch or a mistake is not as easy as you do on any other fabric. If you have punched a hole at the wrong point, it will become a permanent mark. So, it is always a good practice to test your sewing machine and how it’s working on scrapes or small pieces of leather.

How do you sew leather on a sewing machine at home?

There is no special procedure for sewing leather on a sewing machine at home. All you need is to make a few upgrades to your regular sewing machine to make it capable of sewing leather.

Once you are done with the modifications, you can simply sew leather as you sew any other garment. Just make sure that you don’t stitch in the wrong place as it can look bad once you remove the stitch as the hole will be still there.

Can I sew leather with an industrial sewing machine?

You can sew leather on industrial sewing machines and maybe it is the best option if you have access to such machinery. The industrial machine can easily sew leather even if it is too sturdy, hard, and thick because they are designed to do this.

You can easily sew leather on any sewing machine which has a lot of power coming from the motor and allows you to control the running speed just as you like.


Why is leather difficult to sew on a sewing machine?

Leather is quite hard and sturdy, making it impossible for the regular needle to pass through the fabric and difficult for a regular machine to provide enough power. Apart from this, leather fabrics are quite thick which also makes sewing leather a bit difficult.

Is it a good idea to sew leather on a sewing machine?

Yes, sewing leather on a sewing machine is a great idea as long as your machine is in a way to handle this garment and you have experience in sewing such garments.

Having skills to stitch leather is essential because it is different from other forms and once a hole has been punched in the wrong spot, there is no going back as the mark will be visible no matter what you do.

Can my sewing machine break down while sewing leather?

Not easily but yes, sewing machines can break while sewing leather. If you are trying to sew leather on a machine without upgrades, it may not be able to punch even a single hole. Most commonly applying force in such conditions will break down the needle but you should beware as it can (in a few cases) lead to other issues as well which can ruin your sewing machine as well.


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