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Anyone sew leather? Machine recommendations?

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Old February 13th, 2020, 05:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
LoraMoser LoraMoser is offline
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Question Anyone sew leather? Machine recommendations?

I bought an industrial Singer needle feed to use for leather and luggage, and it served me well. I paid around $600 for it over 10 years ago, and changed to a leather needle when it was time to sew leather. Dang, it hemmed jeans nicely, too. A simple vintage machine like this doesn't even have a reverse: you've got to lift the presser foot and pull the stuff back to lock those stitches.

Since then I've purchased two walking foot machines, both Jukis. Now keep in mind, not every "industrial" machine is a heavy duty, leather-demolishing monster. There are sewing machines with drop feed or needle feed that are more suitable for shirt construction, for example. And of course you can get heavy duty monsters with walking feet, compound feet and bizarre gears that pull stuff like sail boat sails through.

What makes a machine "industrial"? Well, some use 220 power, so you can't just drag it home and plug it in. Industrial machines are made with heavy metal components and external motors, and both elements are made to operate for hours and hours and hours. Other common characteristics of industrial machines is specialization: machines are frequently made (and then customized) to do specific jobs, which makes manufacturing really fast. There are something like 15 different machines used to make a pair of jeans, which is why it takes like 18 minutes total to make them. Someone is there just making belt loops, and someone is using this weird thing that spools waist band material off of a spool and this weird machine sews it onto the jeans like bam, bam, bam!

So- just running out to buy an "industrial" is not necessarily the solution. These things are specialized; you need to get something intended for upholstery sort of work. Machines with double clutch are less likely to have catastrophic breakdowns; expect to pay more to buy such equipment.
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Old February 25th, 2020, 08:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
jhornsby3 jhornsby3 is offline
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Default Re: Anyone sew leather? Machine recommendations?

Many years ago I found one that was from Italy at a dump pile out in Poedunk Oregon. Someone had dumped it with their house hold garbage. All of the writing on it was Italian. But at the time I was doing a lot of saddle repairs and by hand. So I grabbed it and took it home. The thing already had a leather needle on it. Now this thing was the size of a regular Singer home machine. So I wasn't holding my breath. But cleaned it up real good and plugged it in and it amazed me when it worked. Didn't need tuning or anything. I ran that machine for a few years until "someone" got a little ****** at me when packing to move and dropped it down the stairs onto the concrete base of the stairs. That poor machine just would work. Took it in to a shop and they told me they had no clue what it was or who made it. But did give me $200 for it. Hell, I didn't need the machine any more so the extra money was great. Payed a bill and got me a steak and a beer. From the dump. Oh and it made me money for a few years. All was good.

John
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Old March 17th, 2020, 03:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
Alex_Hugh Alex_Hugh is offline
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Default Re: Anyone sew leather? Machine recommendations?

This is true that most of the regular home sewing machine can not allow you to sew leather or jeans even if the needles and presser foot are replaced. So, you will always need a heavy duty leather sewing machine for better result without any trouble.
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Old March 27th, 2020, 11:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
sunrisetacticalgear sunrisetacticalgear is offline
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Default Re: Anyone sew leather? Machine recommendations?

It really depends on how thick of leather and the items you want to sew.
I make nylon gear and use mostly Juki and Consew, from twin needles, cylinder arms to bartacker.
I would suggest a servo motor as they give the most controlled sewing.
Scott
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