As a seamstress or seamster, you may have been wanting to explore the versatile and fascinating ways to style leather. Being one of the most premium and high-end fabric, leather has become a contemporary part of the style. But sewing leather is notoriously difficult due to its rugged and heavy texture.
Since you need a lot more power and handling, it is important you have the best and economical machine for this truly timeless material. Whether you are using Mechanical or Computerized sewing machine, by applying the right tools and background knowledge, working with leather can be a lot of fun!
Here, in this article, we have put together a few recommendations after complete research and testation by our team for the best leather machines for bags that qualify to work with leather.
10 Best Bag Sewing Machines to Buy in 2022
Our Top Choice
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1. Brother CS6000i: Best for Leather Handbags
Brother International Corporation has been working since 1954 to serve your needs at home and office. The Brother CS6000i has a unique combination of advanced technology and beginner-friendly features. Hence, making it ideal for professional leather projects.
The 60 built-in sewing stitches include 20 decorative stitches, 7 auto one-step buttonhole styles, 7 quilting stitches and some more types for different purposes. This shows that the machine is helpful to handle all of your leather sewing projects.
The CS6000i is a portable machine with easy to view LCD display and adjustable sewing speed control. This LCD stitch selector fulfils the advanced standards as it allows you to select and view the preferred stitch just by a touch.
In addition, it is equipped with an automatic needle threader that saves your time while working. After you follow the given instructions and touch the lever on the side, the CS6000i will automatically push the thread through the needle.
Above all, there is also a convenient stitch chart printed right on the front of the computerized machine. You can also adjust the speed settings as per your preference. Next, slide the leather under the foot and let the machine do the rest.
- LCD selector is ideal for beginners
- 60 built-in stitches and automatic needle threader
- Easy to use interface
- Included accessories you need
- 25-year warranty
- Demands extra light for a better view
- Not so good on layers
While not being a workhorse, the CS6000i still represents excellent services for its worth. It has a lot of unique features which make it perfect for beginners. So if you want to venture into more creative leather projects, Brother CS6000i is the one for you.
2. Singer Quantum 9960: Machine for Bag Making
Probably the biggest attraction of the Quantum Stylist 9960 is the number of customized and decorative stitched options. There are 600 impressive stitch options including 4 different calligraphy styles and 13 automatic buttonholes, which is pretty ideal.
The automatic needle threader in this machine is a little overwhelming as it can self-thread in an eye-watering 6 seconds. This is helpful for people with weak eyesight as it prevents eye strain.
Moreover, the machine is also featured with a Top Drop-In Bobbin system. This means that it comes with a clear plate to allow you to monitor how much thread is left inside. In this way, you can easily change the thread and avoid unfinished stitching.
The machine also has a so-called digital information advisor in the form of an LCD screen. It helps you to easily change the stitch width and length with a simple touch of a button. The LCD also recommends the best presser foot for you as you need to move slow and steady in the case of leather.
- Versatility and creative freedom
- Includes tons of accessories
- High sewing speed i.e. 850 stitches per minute
- Excellent stitch quality
- Not portable
- Does not save the stitch patterns
While Singer 9960 may not be one of the cheapest but it offers excellent value for the price. The Singer Quantum Stylist 9960 is claimed to handle any type of fabric. I personally recommend this for beginners because it offers smooth learning curves.
3. Singer 4452: Sewing Machine that Sews Leather
Singer Heavy Duty 4452 is an industrial lifesaver for someone who has to do a wide range of sewing in their daily life. This machine brings you ultimate comfort when you come across the leather, denim, vinyl, and canvas sewing projects. Because of its iconic medium-grey industrial design, no one compares this heavy-duty machine with other light competitors.
Since we all know the most important feature to look for in a sewing machine is the built-in stitches. This machine comes with 32 built-in stitches with 110 stitch applications. You can select your preferred stitch with a rotary dial located on the front.
The machine offers also high-speed stitching up to 1.100 stitches in 60 seconds. Therefore, this machine is really appreciated by seamstresses who aim for more artistic stitch. The easy setup and beginner-friendly design make it very handy.
The quality of this high-performance machine can be evaluated with the comfort it provides to the seamstresses. The free-arm design allows you to easily access the cuffs and collars while stitching.
Besides, this machine has an automatic needle allowing you for easier upper threading. It is also designed with a versatile presser foot lift. Hence, you can control high or low pressure depending on the type of product and its weight.
You can also control the stitch length and width depending on the stitch appearance. It can sew leather smoothly if you use the right needle, thread, stitch setting and presser foot.
- Perfect for multiple-layer stitching
- Sturdy and easy to use
- Comes with an accessory storage holder
- Stainless steel bed frame for exceptional durability
- Tension control and reverse stitching mechanism is difficult for beginners
The Singer Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine fulfils pretty much all your sewing needs. The free arm design is a bonus for you to grab the fabric while sewing. The above-mentioned specs make it a good addition to your sewing studio.
4. Janome HD3000: Best Industrial Sewing Machine for Leather
The Janome brand has been providing us with the best of both worlds via its versatile industrial-grade machines. The HD3000 heavy-duty machine is engineered intelligently to deliver both durability and versatility in leather designs.
Instead of overwhelming you with a huge number of choices, the machine provides 18 stitches to accomplish a variety of designs. As it is a heavy-duty machine, it features a one-step buttonhole to give you the necessary tools. Using the dial control, you can switch from one stitch to another and the machine then verifies the selection with an illuminating image of the stitch.
This model is incorporated with an automatic push-pull bobbin system. The bobbin system is also jam-proof so it saves you a lot of time and is great for beginners as well as professionals.
The reverse stitch lever makes it beginner-friendly. If you need to go back a step, you can simply pull down the lever in the front. The machine purrs like a kitten and avoids deafening you i.e. it is quiet and smooth running.
Just like the above-mentioned high-performance sewing machines, it includes a built-in needle threader and a tension adjuster making things easier for you. You can adjust the stitch length and width as well with the top slider control.
- Heavy-duty machine built with aluminium frame
- Polished and excellent stitch quality
- Handles the fabric without any limitations
- User friendly
- Reverse lever is accessible
- Looks out of place and not so sleek
- Short cord on the foot pedal
In terms of its flexibility, while working with leather, the Janome HD3000 satisfies many users. HD3000 is named the best idol for complex projects. The quality and durability of this machine make your work as easy and fun as possible.
5. Brother ST371HD: Best for Leather Purses
Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine is a powerful workhorse suitable for both novice and intermediate sewists. Whether you’re dealing with silk, leather or denim, its metal needle plate gives a smooth fabric feeding.
There is an easy to place and removable bobbin so that you don’t have to fiddle around with it. The bobbin is also jam-resistant and quick-set to deliver smooth and reliable stitches. The bobbin winder is easy to load with different threads.
Furthermore, the ST371HD features an automatic needle threader which is a real point of value. The stitching speed is 800 stitches per minute which are perfect enough to produce leather accessories at home.
Although the Brother ST371HD is not so sleek due to the absence of an LCD screen, it does come with a stitch selector dial. By simply turning the dial knob to the right number, you can easily set the right number along with the stitch design.
Remove the portion of the base and voila! There is a free arm that comes in handy while stitching tricky areas. This portion is removable as well and serves as a storage area for spare needles and bobbins.
- Requires no maintenance as there’s no need to oil the machine
- Very affordable and easy setup
- Much sturdier for the price
- Provides decent and smooth stitch through thick and thin
- Not a heavy-duty model
- No speed control
The Brother ST371HD is a reliable machine that gets the job done for most people. You get more than you pay for with this machine. Working with this machine will give you unique and fun products.
6. Juki TL-2010Q: Bags Stitching Machine
Being known for exceptional sewing machines in the market, Juki filled this model with jaw-dropping features. It is a high-performance portable machine with aluminium die-casting construction. This machine ensures industrial-quality sewing.
One of the key features is the simple and easy assembling process. The beginner-friendly manual makes sure that anyone can use the features in no time.
The portable Juki TL-2010Q is equipped with an automatic needle threader and thread trimmer. The machine threads the needle with an automatic lever push system. While it can also trim the needle and bobbin threads simultaneously.
Also, the machine has a premium speed performance that provides night quality stitching. You can set the speed from 200 to 1500 stitches per minute as working with leather demands variable speed.
The bright LED light lets you see exactly what you’re doing even in the dark. The bonus is that you can replace the LED with a more powerful light. There is also a presser feet adjustment for accurate feed and perfect stitching.
- Adjustable speed
- Lockstitch stitches
- Portable machine with large sewing area
- Easy bobbin replacement
- No accessories included
- Demands good maintenance
If you’re exclusively looking for a portable machine that does the job for you, Juki TL-2010Q is the one for you. The machine has earned positive responses from different shopping platforms. The machine itself is known to easily handle leather.
7. Janome: Best Sack Sewing Machine
The HD1000 is a great choice for beginners and experts alike. You can rely on this machine for most of your sewing projects. It is an all-rounder strong performer that can easily handle multiple layers of leather.
The machine has 14 standard pre-programmed stitches to tackle a wide range of sewing projects. The range of stitches is printed right next to the stitch selector knob. In addition to built-in stitches, it has a four-step buttonhole, reverse stitching, zig-zag and a standard straight stitch.
Above all the exterior of the machine is constructed with heavy-duty aluminium. This aluminium body is not only durable but lightweight as well i.e. 17 pounds only. Since the internal parts are not made of plastic, they are less likely to break.
There is a drop feed featured to help in stippling and attaching buttons. It also comes along with a 3-piece feed dog that comes in handy for freedom of movement and control.
The machine also has an extra high presser foot. Hence, by making proper adjustments you can easily tackle leather that is normally difficult to handle.
- 25-year warranty
- Durable with a heavy-duty design
- Comes with the high presser foot
- Lightweight aluminium body
- Bobbin system is not jam proof
- Not suitable for fabrics like rubber, canvas and plastic
The HD1000 heavy-duty is great for advance and beginners and grows with you as you learn new techniques. It is a strong machine that provides leather sewing at the industrial level.
8. Janome Black: Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
Taking your sewing skills to the next level, the Janome HD1000 Black Edition (HD-1000BE) provides updated and versatile services exclusively for leather. Due to its high-quality build and all-aluminium construction, it can last longer without any issues.
Janome promises a dependable and an enjoyable experience with this HD1-1000 BE powered with a 1.0 amp motor. The industrial-grade body is furnished with a range of effectual features. It also includes 14 built-in stitches and a four-step buttonhole to help you create the projects you have been dreaming of.
The add-ons enhancing the quality of this machine are Ultra-glide foot, walking foot and leather needle pack. The built-in needle threader makes it a great choice as it is quite effective in passing the thread through the eye of the needle.
And the removable free arm allows easier sewing of small openings. The 3-piece feed dog system along with drop feed allows free-motion sewing. Whether it be leather or any piece of garment, this will provide smooth stitches.
You can also customize your projects by simply adjusting the stitch length and width using a dial. While dealing with leather or other bulky fabrics, its extra-high presser foot lift comes in handy.
- Includes a hard-sided cover
- Sturdy and durable with less wear and tear
- Adjustable stitch length and width
- Comes with 14 built-in stitches
- Not portable due to its heavyweight
- Threading the bobbin is not easy
As mentioned earlier, Janome has been elevating the standards in the sewing machine industry. Just like others, Janome HD-1000 BE is a perfect blend of all the fundamental and advanced features. You will not face any charge for maintenance as well.
9. JUKI HZL-F300: Sewing Machine for Wallets
With 106 stitches, 16 buttonholes and 3 different lettering fonts, the HZL-F300 tackles every complicated stitch. It provides versatility in the form of many straight, zig-zag, overlock and decorative stitches.
The drop-in bobbin featured in this machine comes with a compartment next to the needle plate. It is helpful to see whether a refill is needed or if there is any jam.
While all the above-mentioned machines have an automatic needle threader, not all of them are as easy as this one. First, cut the thread using the onboard thread cutter, then lower the threading lever. Right after releasing it, the thread will enter the eye of the needle.
The exclusive Box Feed Technology ensures the fabric does not shift during the sewing process. There is an LCD display that lets you pick your stitch type, length, width and a specific pattern as well.
Another exclusive feature is the memory capability since it is a programmable machine. Save your patterns in different folders and get the machine to recall them with a simple touch of a button.
- Unique automatic threading
- Exclusive and versatile features
- Easy bobbin and threading mechanism
- Avoid quilting certain fabrics on this machine
After going through all the specs and benefits, I do recommend JUKI HZL-F300. Since it’s really hard to find fault with this machine, you will find it serving your needs well.
10. Bernette 33: Swiss Design Sewing Machine
The Bernette 33 is one of the very few machines that deliver the sophistication and innovation required in high-end leather sewing projects. The machine contains two knobs to make all the adjustments.
The Bernette 33 features 15 unique built-in stitches provided with 5 unique presser feet to allow rich diversity. It can easily rip through multiple layers of leather.
The front loading buttonhole technology along with 860 stitches per minute assures high speed sewing. There is also a specialized 5mm stitch width authentication to maneuver effectual settings.
In addition, there is a semi-automatic threader and cutter to make it easy to get started with the machine. Other convenient extras include an accessible reverse lever, ample space and an accessory box.
- Featured attached needle
- Adjustable stitch width
- Decent range of built-in stitches
- Solid body construction
- Bobbin gets jammed with threads
I think Bernette 33 is definitely worth buying. The reason is that it has got certain features and particularities that are less complicated to work with. In my opinion, there are no deal breakers in this one.
How to Choose a Machine to Sew Leather Handbags
Due to the increasing trends of leather products, it must be clear to you why you should buy a leather sewing machine. For your convenience, I have put together a list of factors to consider while buying a new leather machine for yourself.
User reviews will tell you whether the brand is exaggerating their qualities or not. I recommend Amazon reviews as they give you a better estimate about the products.
Walking foot is crucial in leather projects. It comes in handy when working with bulky and unmanageable leather sewing.
Automatic threader and cutter
The presence of an automatic threader and cutter in a leather machine makes things so easy and fast. Hence, it’s a great idea to look for this aspect.
Being aware of the requirements, you need to think about the price range as well. For a more sturdy machine, you may have to spend a little of your fortune.
Can an old Singer sewing machine sew leather?
Undoubtedly, any old Singer sewing machine will sew the leather by using the right needle and thread. Personally, I have used Singer Model 66 Vintage 1940 and a 3-ply Nylon thread to sew my thick tool belt leather. Fitting it with a 1.5 amp 9,000 rpm motor, I got smooth and the best results.
Are old sewing machines better than new ones?
In my opinion, it depends on what features are essential to you. Identifying your needs will help you decide on which model is best for you. The older sewing machines are not as updated as the newer ones. I’d prefer new sewing machines because I can add a variety of creativity to my sewing projects.
What is the difference between an industrial sewing machine and a normal one?
Both have the same basic mechanics but different intended applications and usage. The normal (also called domestic) sewing machines are used at homes for sewing dresses, curtains and futon covers. They are manufactured keeping in mind the versatility of applications. While the industrial sewing machines are used in a factory environment with each type performing a specific stitch.
What do you need to sew leather?
The first thing you’ll need is a sturdy sewing machine that performs the task smoothly. You may also need a walking foot that does not stick to the leather. Using a leather needle is also important as the smallest mistake appears prominently on leather. Take your time and use a long stitch length for best results.
As we all know, getting a leather sewing machine is not an easy task. This is because most sewing machines are advertised in an exaggerated manner. You may get confused while deciding on the right one. I hope the above article enlightens about all the specs and benefits of the best ones out there.
My final take on how to choose which one is the best is to consider your personal needs, budget and factors like the type of fabric you want to work with. This will help you to get the right sewing machine for the best outcomes of your effort.
All of the above-mentioned machines come with features built to fulfil your requirements. Since leather is a demanding material, you need to make the right choice and choose the best sewing machine for leather from the list I have discussed for you.