Best Sewing Machines for Leather

Tailoring leather or heavy layered textures might be a challenge. It is pretty hard to find sufficient information from manufacturers or expert reviews. I have collected my personal favorites in the category “best sewing machine for leather”. To make my review fair you have various brands, different price points as well as countless options, features, and technologies.

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The advantages and add-ons I have noted are all good for working with natural or faux leather allowing you to get as creative as you like. Go digital or stick to the regular stitch switcher machines. You have LED screens, hundreds of stitches or just some regular items that can be really convenient for people with no prior experience.

Best Sewing Machine for Leather Reviews

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Brother SE400 - best sewing machine for leather

Brother SE400

The advantage of SE400 is that it is a sewing and an embroidering machine at the same time. So this sewing machine for leather work can carry out numerous tasks. I loved the fact that you have more embroidery designs than stitches in the memory, 70 vs. 67.

The LED display is quite functional and easy to use. All the stitches and embroidery styles are available on the screen and the menu is intuitive. Plus you have the USB connectivity option foreseen. Run your tailoring from your desk.

The embroidery is a lot of fun when you have a 4 inch by 4-inch field. Working with leather is just as easy plus you can get creative with your own stitching, lettering or embroidery styles.


  • I love the versatile functions and the ease of use. Switching between embroidery and sewing is fairly simple.
  • Brother has free phone support to help you run your machine smoothly and receive live help when you need it.
  • The price is only $75 and even less if you go for a Christmas sale or Black Friday.


  • There are not so many Brother repair stores out there.
  • Some users have reported issues copying designs from their PCs or MACs to this embroidery machine.
  • A few foot issues have also been reported but I have not seen any.

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9985

SINGER Quantum Stylist 9985

This little baby is full of surprises. SINGER Quantum Stylist 9985 belongs to the type of sewing machines that are small but mighty. The heavy solid cast metal frame gives it extra durability and reliability.

Numerous additional computerized options make it great for all types of sewing, stitching, embroidering, quilting, and cording. The total number of various stitches in the machine memory is 960. Pretty impressive right?

I also loved the buttonhole foot which makes sewing buttons so much fun. The option is available for the higher end Singer machines only. I recommend you investing money into an advanced unit that is going to last for years. Do not hesitate to use this small machine on genuine leather as well. The weight of 20 pounds might be below average but do not judge the performance on the size.


  • A vast amount if feet for different functions and implementations. No need to order additional parts.
  • I loved the automatic needle threader which is exclusive for the high-end Singer models.
  • The singer warranty of 25 years for factory parts and 5 years for electric parts are just amazing.


  • The price is pretty high, around $450 regular retail price.
  • The expendables like belts, bulbs, and rings only have 12 months warranty.
  • I did not encounter any issues with the programmed stitches but some users claim that some of them do not function.

SINGER Tradition 2259

SINGER Tradition 2259

The name of this model speaks for itself. I had to include it into the review for the best leather sewing machine because sometimes traditional well acquainted and familiar technologies are the best ones. The unit only weighs 13 pounds making it easy to transport it around.

The foot presser lifter allows for sewing thick fabrics or leather. Since you can lift it pretty high in order to work with thicker materials. Sounds pretty convenient right? It all comes down to whether you would be satisfied with the limited amount of options and features.

I would recommend Tradition 2259 for beginners and hobbyists. This affordable model has everything a rookie might need and you can practice and improve your skills without investing too much money into it.


  • This Singer is really affordable. Only about $100 regular retail price unless you get extra lucky to get it on sale.
  • Since it is a pretty basic model it will be amazing for the whole family giving you an opportunity to have some bonding time with kids.
  • You get the same 25-year limited warranty for factory parts and 5 years for electric parts like all Singer machines have.


  • You only have 19 programmed types of stitches.
  • If you like different features and perks you will not like this machine as it will be too basic for you.
  • Some customers have reported jammed feet and broken needles but mine worked just fine for the testing time.

Janome Magnolia 7318

Janome Magnolia 7318

I had to add it to the list due to the specific foot dog that is designed to be extremely versatile working with different materials. Might be the best sewing machine for leather. Although other options and features can be pretty limited.

Janome Magnolia 7318 brags of a company special jam proof bobbin. The machine is not digital, you have a switch for 18 different types of stitches. You do not have any lettering or embroidery foreseen, unfortunately.

There is no LED and no USB connection. But the machine is really good for beginners and hobbyists as the operation is really simple. And the construction and the frame are extremely reliable. But whether all this is worth the price point, I am not certain. I recommend you to go for a pre-owned unit.


  • The weight of 17 pounds is just good for you to do the sewing without any jumping around.
  • You have various overcasting stitches not foreseen in most basic options from competitor brands.
  • A separate 4 step buttonhole foot is available.


  • The price is about $300 for a basic tailoring machine.
  • Some clients reported that the feed dog can get jammed but I have never had that issue with Magnolia 7318.
  • It is pretty simple. If you love some cool perks and features this machine is not for you.

Brother XM1010

Brother XM1010

The manufacturer claims that XM1010 is a full-size tailoring machine that is portable at the same time. So you get a heavy duty sewing machine leather that can be used for you to have fun with all kinds of fabrics.

There is no LED touch screen. You cannot connect it to your MAC or PC either as the USB is not foreseen. But you have the stitches switch that is really easy to use. The machine would be a great option for beginners or hobbyists.

Leather tailoring is also fairly easy. You cannot go too far with the designs but you have the zipper foot and the buttonhole foot. The item gives you all the needed basic features and options to complete a simple project.


  • The price is definitely the main advantage. Buy it for $100 or even cheaper when it is on sale.
  • The weight of the machine is only about 10 pounds.
  • You have the 25-year limited warranty for all Brother parts, pretty convenient. But the Brother store might be pretty far away from your place.


  • It is pretty basic. The quality is good but the options and the functions are extremely limited with no modern perks.
  • You only have 4 different types of feet.
  • The operation has been really smooth but there are some customer reports about failed bobbins.

Buyers Guide

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Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Sewing Machine for Leather

Running leather on your basic daily tailoring machine can lead to the foot getting jammed or it will get stuck in the throat plate. What you really need is a sturdy durable heavy-duty unit that can handle all kinds of skin works.

Think through what types of products are you going to manufacture in the future. If you’re thinking about leather shoes, gloves or bags than a proper leather stitching machine is a must for you. But if you just want to make some simple leather clothing and plan on working with thinner types of skin the idea might actually work out.

Remember to look through the manual and go through some forums and reviews for people that have a similar type of machine. If the manufacturer says that your unit is only good for thinner materials you have to follow the instruction.

Can You Use Your Home Sewing Machine To Sew Leather?

I would say first of all it depends on the type of machine that you have. The best sewing machines for leather are the dedicated ones with the narrow sphere of implementation. Working with proper tools give you a great experience together with joy and excitement.

Depending on whether the leather is a hobby for you or if you want to make it a source of your income you need to have a machine that covers all of your needs. Some of the portable home tailoring machines can carry out some leather works as well.

Some Basics of Sewing with Leather

The thing is that there are so many different types of leather and leather products. There are also numerous types of leather stitching. Plus the tailoring machines can be built for various functions. Some can be good for making skin garments some can be used for making belts, accessories, etc.

Before getting down to work look through the manual. If you have never tried tailoring this type of material before you should test out the stitching on the material. Working with calfskin or sheepskin requires advanced skills and you have to be experienced in sewing and designing.

Skin tends to be pretty thick and thus resistant to needles. Just one hole in the wrong place can spoil the entire garment. The regular needles you use for stitching fabrics might not be able to handle things like leather, faux leather, denim or vinyl. So just be prepared for a broken needle stuck in the material.

My list of portable domestic machines all have heavy-duty metal frames making them relatively sturdy while still on the lighter stitchery machine side. Plus they all have an option of using heavier needles and walker adjusting feet for thicker fabrics. Do not hesitate to let me know if you have some other questions or ideas for more articles.

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