Don’t you hate it when you can’t work on certain fabrics as a designer because your machine does not support it? It becomes a never-ending battle between meeting up with deadlines and sewing the perfect design according to your client’s specifications. Fortunately, it is possible to own a machine that’s always ready to jack into work, even in depth of a cold winter night.
The best vintage sewing machine for leather is designed to bring the touch of the good old days to your sewing process. Beyond that, however, it is designed to be reliable for making simple and difficult designs on all fabrics, irrespective of texture. Its efficient design will also help you save money, and put you in total control of the sewing process, even when you are making a complex design.
These special machines produce amazing stitch speeds that far supersedes their looks. Vintage sewing machines are also long-lasting and safe to use since they are made from metal and do not need any complicated computer software to function. They are easier to use than most other types of sewing machines, and are, of course, great for beginners, and professional fashion designers. This type of machines, when properly maintained does not make too much noise and would not interrupt your discussion when being operated.
So, the question is why haven’t we all bought a vintage sewing machine for leather already?
There are different answers to that question, depending on which individual it is directed to. However, it is mostly because people are not sure of which vintage sewing machine is right for their needs. A vintage machine for heavy-duty stitches isn’t likely to perform the same way as one that’s made for light-duty stitches. It takes quite a lot of research to get the perfect vintage sewing machine for your needs, especially with the availability of a sea of options in the market. It doesn’t have to be so, however, not when you can get the right information to guide your search.
To help your quest, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best vintage sewing machines for leather with a review of all their features. We are certain that you will find the right one for your needs.
Quickly scan through the table below to see an overview of all 9 products as well as their basic specifications.
- Automated needle threader
- LED light
- Speed control system
- Advanced trimming capability
- Extension table
Popular for its attention to tiny details, Juki TL- 2010Q has some features that might interest you in a sewing machine. If you want a machine that efficiently combines speed with durability, then this one is made for you.
A lot of users are already talking about how impressive the performance of the machine is. On its physical features, the machine was manufactured to operate with a single needle. This needle comes with aluminum die-casting, which helps for quality sewing.
As expected for most top-quality sewing machines, the Juki TL- 2010Q is manufactured with an advanced thread trimming capability. This feature of the machine allows for comfortable trimming. With it, owners do not need to waste further time trimming their stitches, as it is done automatically. In addition to its advanced trimming capability, the machine is designed to effectively handle multi-layered materials and heavy fabrics.
The speed control mechanism that the machine comes with helps to ensure that you are in complete control of the sewing speed of any fabric. Additionally, the machine features a bright-white LED lighting to improve night vision. This LED light is positioned to illuminate the sewing area. Hence, allowing for more precise sewing.
- Incredible speed control that allows you sew at your own pace
- The machine is designed lightweight and portable
- Great LED lighting system for clearer view
- Large working area
- Great for quilting (comes with an extension table)
- Comes with a relatively complex auto needle threader
- Simple design
- Hand powered
- Adjustable stitch length: 4 – 16 per inch
- Lock stitch
- Weight: 21 pounds
- Money back guarantee
For most people in the fashion and designing industry, Tippman has long become a household name in the manufacture of exceptional sewing materials. It is no surprise that this Tippmann Leather Sewing Machine falls among the best this year.
The overall stitching quality of the machine stands out from most others in the industry. Hence, the popularity they now enjoy among professional tailors. The machine can efficiently sew through the leather of up to 3/4″ thickness.
The self-sufficient design of the machine means that you will not need to worry about outlets, cords, or any mechanical hook-up. The machine jacks to life with just a simple pull of the handle.
Additionally, the machine can be clamped to any table, irrespective of shape or size. So, whether it is on an ordinary table, a trade show table, or a tailgate, you can just place it and begin work immediately.
The Boss is ready for use out of the box, although you might still need a little practice to adjust the machine to your project. With a proper understanding of stitch length adjustment, tension adjustment and foot pressure, the quality of your work will be highly improved. There is an instruction manual included to help make learning easier. By its design, the machine is hand-powered. The lever operates almost in the same way with a slot machine handle. Whether you are repairing, or sewing afresh, the result that this machine produces is mostly satisfactory.
- Can sew through the thickest leather
- Simple design helps for easier usage
- The machine is self-sufficient
- 30 days money-back guarantee for peace of mind
- Often needs practice to achieve excellent results
- A bit expensive
- Automated needle threader
- LCD display system
- 600 built-in stitches
- Electronic twin needle
Singer has been a top brand in the sewing machine industry for a long time. This version brings some cool features that a lot of others do not have. The company added some advanced features that not only help in sewing, but also in quilting (if you’re interested in quilting also check our review- 10 Best Irons For Quilting).
The programmable nature of this machine makes sewing quite easy. The machine offers an incredible level of versatility; hence, its efficient use on different types of fabrics. It is also affordable, compared to many other sewing machines in its category and most buyers are impressed that the low price does not affect its quality in any way.
From first sight, the easy threading system of the machine stands out. Unlike a few other brands, the automatic threading system actually works without making you feel like you need to visit a technician.
The machine also comes with an electronic autopilot, eliminating the need to sew with the foot pedal, when looking to achieve maximum sewing speed. The LCD display system combines with the automatic stitch selector, to enable you to easily choose your desired option.
There is also an automatic tension control system that allows for stable stitching on different types of fabrics. You can automatically start, stop, or control the location of the needle, using the programmable feature of the machine.
The simple design of the machine might also interest you, considering that it can start operation right out of the box. For users that do not have any experience in the use of computerized machines, this one comes with an easy to understand manual. With the manual and a little guidance from the instruction DVD, you can turn from a novice into a pro in the use of this machine.
- It is highly durable
- Very easy to use
- Offers highly adjustable sewing
- It can work at different speeds
- Its frame is made of heavy-duty metal
- Metal frame makes it a bit too weighty
- A bit loud
- Straight stitching only
- Solid aluminum body
- Super lightweight
- Reverse capable
- Well-engineered extension Bed
If you are interested in vintage sewing machines, then you probably would have heard of the famous Featherweight from Singer. One look at the diminutive half-sized physique of this machine and you might be deceived into believing that it does not offer much. But if you are patient enough to take a more proper look, you will discover that it is actually one of the most robust portable machines that you will find today. The machine instantly became a best-seller when it was introduced in the 1930s. It remained so for many years and has since seen several upgrades.
One of the features that stands this machine out is the presence of an extension bed that gives further sewing room. At first glance, one may take this machine as a toy, but once its ample extension bed is at full stretch, you will find that sewing on it does not completely feel different from larger machines.
The Featherweight is designed to be a side-loading rotary hook, straight stitch only machine. It handles light to medium materials quite well and is impressive in the way it produces beautiful curves.
The incredibly slim head profile of this machine is also worth talking about. It is generally made with lightweight aluminum; hence its ease of carriage.
- Lightweight and portable
- Great option for light to medium fabrics and leather
- Relatively inexpensive
- Comes with sturdy carrying case
- Does not have a very impressive look
- Sews on straight stitches only
- Used only
- 14 in-built stitches
- Automated Needle Threader
- Presence of Sewing Accessory
- Single 4-step buttonhole
- Free arm
- Heavy-duty aluminum exterior
Janome has been a big brand in the sewing machine industry for many years. Most products from the brand boast convenience, durability, and functionality; hence its endearing popularity. With its aluminum body, HD1000 is one of the brand’s best all-time sewing machines. And it comes with quite a number of top-notch features to prove its worthiness being on this list.
First, the machine is heavy-duty, and the brand promises that it can take on the toughest sewing tasks possible. A lot of buyers prefer to use it for completing large works and for experimenting with new designs, considering that it is built to be a workhorse. It is a good option for designers that operate in the professional sphere. Apart from all this, the machine also has some incredible features that will make creativity easier. Here, let’s look at a few.
The machine is built to feature 14 inbuilt stitches. Although these might seem relatively small, they are still enough for you to experiment with different designs as you imagine them. Plus, the single 4-step buttonhole feature helps to ensure that you sew on a strong buttonhole whenever the need arises.
Despite not being computerized, the machine still features an automated needle threader that comes useful for threading needle without much struggle. The free arm feature of the machine also helps to ensure additional ease when you try to stitch sleeves, collars, cuffs, and all other cylindrical parts.
This sewing machine comes delivered with every necessary sewing accessory needed to complete your first few designs. So, for the first few months, you may not need a spare accessory. If you need one, however, it is easy to find spare accessories in the market.
The heavy-duty aluminum exterior is one of the most notable features of this option. The machine features a strong body that definitely lasts longer than most others in its competition. The strength of the body also helps to ensure safety of all internal components of the machine.
- Efficient and fast sewing machine
- Very durable and easy to carry
- Delivered with enough accessories to start your first design
- Manufacturer’s warranty for confidence
- Relatively bulky in size
- 32 Built-in Stitches
- Automatic needle threader
- Drop-in bobbin
- Adjustable presser foot control
- LED lighting
- Reverse function
- 25 Years Limited Warranty for head
For the few that have been in the fashion and design industry for a while, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that we have yet another entrant from Singer. This is a top brand in the industry. Again, they’ve designed this sewing machine to handle tough jobs. Notwithstanding, you can still handle simple projects and basic sewing with the machine. But most other machines can do that too! However, where this machine stands out is in its ability to take the big jobs thrown at it without faltering. This machine is solid enough to handle strong and heavy fabrics.
Although pretty small and lightweight, this machine has proven over again that it has the stuff most bigger machines don’t have. It has an impressive motor that allows it to be very efficient. Moreover, this option from Singer comes with a total of 32 built-in stitches that make it more efficient and of course, speedy. At an average of 1100 stitches per minute, you can tell that this is a speed beast.
Again, the company shows just how much it trusts in its process by providing up to 25 years warranty for the product. Despite already proven its worth, Singer still wants rest of mind for their customers and that’s why they’ve provided this warranty to stand by you when the machine begins to experience any troubles.
Certainly, the machine doesn’t include a bundle of extra and worthless accessories that will be overwhelming to sort. It goes directly to provide you the essential accessories that are needed to begin your first few sewing escapades.
This ranks high among the numerous features that this machine comes with to make sewing easier. It also has a top drop-in bobbin system, adjustable presser foot control, free arm, adjustable stitch length and width and drop feed – all engineered to make sewing perfect.
This is a machine that’s recommended for beginners, because of the ease presented by the settings, adjustments, and functions. There’s almost nothing complicated about this machine, but it is still advisable to read the manual before use.
- Impressive rate of durability and portability
- Very strong machine
- Available of necessary accessories
- Easy to use
- Relatively inexpensive
- Less automatic features
- 800 SPM
- Speed reducer
- Reverse lever
- Zig-zag and straight stitching
- Adjustable stitch length: up to 4 stitches per inch
- Full accessory kit
Although relatively unpopular, the Reliable Barracuda 200ZW is a top of the line entrant into our list. This machine is indeed a reliable one as the name of the brand suggests. At 800 stitches per minute, you can tell that the 200ZW sewing machine is engineered for speed. It combines its compact physique, with a good performance level and great capacity to give designers what they want. Let’s take a look at the features of this machine one after the other.
By all means, this is a machine engineered for greatness, despite its portable size. It is built to handle the tough tasks and even the lighter ones. The machine has everything to handle your stitches and designs with ease. There is also a built-in feature that allows for automatic speed reduction. Hence, the speed of the machine can be adjusted slightly to fit your design.
The Barracuda 200ZW, despite its durability, does not come computerized. However, the interesting news is that it can still be used for decor projects, sew sails, upholstery, and other applications. The machine has a specialized head that’s designed to be able to light up your project at any time.
Each part of this machine is designed to be easy to use. Hence, accessing the different parts for different usage should not be very difficult. Additionally, the presence of a user control mechanism helps you to easily adjust to the length and breadth of the stitches you have at hand.
It further enables total rest of mind with every purchase, the company has included a 36-month warranty on each machinery and labor.
- Sturdy construction
- Its design makes it very easy to use
- It is incredibly portable
- Speed can be easily controlled
- Zig-zag stitching option
- Not fit for industrial processes
- Single needle
- Walking foot
- 6 mm stitch length
- Lock stitch
- Reverse function
It will be strange to list the best vintage sewing machine for leather and not have a product from Consew, a brand that has been in the production of quality machines and accessories for years. Its attention to tiny details has earned it a spot among the best in the industry. The Consew CP206RL Portable Walking Foot Machine is a top of the line portable machine from this brand. The Consew CP206RL Portable Walking Foot Machine has quite a good number of features that get it at the level it enjoys today.
Unlike some other products there, this sewing machine is highly portable and easy to carry. Hence, it is the right machine for anybody who intends to be mobile most of the time.
Another standout feature of this machine is its ability to take on heavy-weight materials without a single cough. From leather to vinyl, synthetics, upholstery, and even canvas, the heavy-duty machine has the right specs to sew through and sew well. The versatility of this machine is quite impressive, considering that apart from clothing designs, tailors have learned to have it for other uses. Today, it works for stitching products like auto, tarpaulin, sails, trailer covers, tents, tops, umbrellas, luggage, sports wears, travel ware accessories, camping equipment, etc.
This machine may not boast of all the accessories in the world, but certainly, it has enough for any beginner to make their first few designs. The essentials are available in the box. All you need is set them up and you are good to go.
One of the biggest features that pull people to this machine is the simplicity in its design. Guided by the manual, you can fix the machine ready for your first use, irrespective of sewing experience.
- It is easy to set up and use
- It comes with necessary accessories to handle simple designs
- It is quite portable
- It is very heavy
- Does not come with case
- Walking foot
- 1200 SPM
- Comes with additional accessories
- Adjustment options for different stitches
- Supports back, straight and zigzag stitching
- Simple design
This machine from Family Sew is truly portable. It is one of the most portable vintage sewing machines on this list. Beyond its portability, however, a major reason why a lot of people prefer to go for it is the incredible stitch speed that it offers. At a speed of about 1200 stitches per minute, you can tell that it is a good option for you if speed is something you consider important.
From the solid design of the machine, you can already tell that it is built for industrial works. Its use is not limited at all, considering that it works just right for soft, medium, and thick fabrics. Whether it is for professional use or minor designs on lightweight fabrics at home, you will find that this machine works well for all.
The walking foot machine offers a lot in terms of functionality and efficiency. For instance, the machine can produce straight and zigzag stitches to cover for any stitching need. The machine also has a reverse stitching feature, allowing you to be fully creative with your design process.
Moreover, the machine is made to offer length adjustments for both straight and zigzag stitches. The foot pedal, on the other hand, gives you excellent control over the whole working process of the machine. Additionally, the machine is designed specially to support layered fabrics, whether it is leather or canvas.
- It produces an incredibly fast speed
- It supports nearly every kind of fabric
- It comes with additional accessories.
- Small hand wheel
- Case is not included
The review above is detailed enough to help you understand all the important features that a good vintage sewing machine should have. The machines above are the best for different situations. Dividing them into categories means that the best for one person may not be the best for another, depending on individual needs. To help you get the best vintage sewing machine for leather, there’s a need to consider several buying factors. These factors help to determine how the machine will perform in the project you intend using it on.
For the best sewing result, it is important to get the right machine. This means looking beyond physical appearance. Take a look at other factors that may help determine the suitability of a machine for your needs.
If you’ve dealt with leather before, then you will realize how much of a tough material it is. The toughness of leather means that you need a sewing machine that’s equally powerful to efficiently sew it. Of course, leathers come in different texture – from soft to medium or hard.
While searching for a sewing machine, you should be careful about picking one with the right power to match the toughness of your leather. Having a sewing machine that’s all-powerful will never hurt though. Instead, it will help ensure that you can sew any leather material, irrespective of texture.
Vintage sewing machines like the Tippmann Boss and the Family Sew Super Zig Zag have just the right power to take on any task. Apart from being able to sew through different textures, powerful vintage sewing machines help to ensure efficiency and speed too. Bear in mind, however, that the more powerful a sewing machine is, the more costly it would likely be.
Number of Stitches
This is one very important factor to look out for when buying a vintage sewing machine. Different vintage sewing machines come with different stitch numbers. It is this stitch numbers that determine the variety of designs that the machine can handle. Usually, it is better to go for a sewing machine that guarantees a higher number of stitches. This is because it puts more design options at your disposal. With it, you can become more creative in your design.
Decorative stitches are usually more important, considering their use in the creation of unique designs. Nobody desires a design that is too basic and unoriginal, after all.
This is another very important factor to look into when making your choice of the vintage sewing machine. This is the factor that determines how fast you can go with your work. To this effect, it is always more desirable to have a sewing machine with a higher stitching speed. Since such machines can help you make designs on your leather materials at a higher speed. You should, however, ensure that you are experienced enough to work at a high speed before going for a machine that’s high speed enabled. Most top sewing machines come with speed adjuster like the one the Reliable Barracuda 200ZW features. You will be pleased to be able to adjust the speed level to the one that best suits your level of expertise. The deal here is for your hand speed to correspond with the machine’s speed, as much as possible.
Ease of Usage
Different sewing machines differ in terms of operation ease. As such, it is important to ensure proper technical knowledge of the machine operation.
Different accessories are being added to sewing machines daily to make them easier to use. For instance, we’ve seen the invention of computerized machines to make sewing easier and faster. Although, you will need to master some settings before being able to use them. Seek advice where necessary on how to use these settings, because it is the settings that help to further determine how easy it is to use the machine. Always go for the brand that offers you more ease and convenience during operation.
Like in most other things, price is a very important factor to consider when buying a vintage sewing machine for leather. In fact, the price of the machine is often the ultimate determinant of your ability to purchase the machine. When making your choice, you will need to compare the price of different options available in the market. However, do not sacrifice performance for the price. Remember that most high performing sewing machines are highly-priced compared to low performing ones. Hence, it is important to always go for the machine that delivers the most value for your needs. Do not rush things. Instead, take time to compare different options which prices are within your budget. Find the one that offers you the best value and stick to it.
Reasons Why You Should Own A Vintage Sewing Machine
Despite the availability of fancy modern sewing machines today, there’s still so much to love about vintage sewing machines. There may be times when the thoughts of learning how to use and maintain a vintage sewing machine will intimidate you – but that shouldn’t be. Take a look at some fascinating reasons why you should be proud of owning a vintage machine.
The metal parts of the machine are durable and long-lasting
Most vintage machines are quite heavy, but there’s a good reason for that too. After all, they are made of metal, not plastic. The biggest advantage of using metal parts is how difficult breaking them can be. This means that they will be so difficult to need replacement.
Almost all parts of vintage sewing machines are built with solid metals. This easily translates to power. Thankfully, this does not mean the need for additional octane to sew. Their speed and durability are also pretty amazing. With little care and proper maintenance, these metal beasts can last forever.
They are now easy to maintain
Unlike before, maintaining vintage machines is now easier. With the internet, you can now find experienced service engineers in your city to fix any fault in your vintage machine. You can also find maintenance tutorials on YouTube to help guide you through the process of learning how to fix minor issues.
Additionally, you will find vintage machines ideal for home repairs and maintenance, considering that they mostly do not have complex computer software like most modern sewing machines do. Technically, this is one of the reasons for the hype in price of maintaining modern machinery.
They have the straightest lines out there
Most times, sewing enthusiasts fail to realize that the funky, fun stitches that come with modern machines actually affect the ability of your machine to produce a perfect straight stitch. If you desire perfectly straight stitches, then a vintage machine might be your best shot at achieving them.
Great for any kind of fabric
Vintage sewing machines put you in control of any fabric, irrespective of texture. This is because most home sewing machines in the past were made for use on everything, from suits, to blankets, and wedding dresses. You will find that vintage machines are built to have manual lever that can help to adjust the pressure of the presser foot. This means that you can reduce pressure for thinner fabrics, and of course, increase pressure for heavier fabrics.
They are heavy
Yes! Weight isn’t always a bad thing. In this case, consider it as a blessing in disguise. The weight of this machine won’t let them slide around under big projects as most other modern machines would do. Instead, it remains static in one position, and consume the project, irrespective of size.
Where to Buy a Vintage Machine
A lot of buyers have had great luck finding nice vintage machines that suit their need on Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, and at their local flea market. Apart from the aforementioned, you can also consider places like sewing machine repair shops, thrift store, garage sales, etc.
The benefits that comes with using sites like Amazon is the presence of tremendous options to select from. The disadvantage, however, is that you will often need to pay additional fee for shipping. Depending on your location, shipping fee can greatly affect the total cost of the machine.
Another downside is the inability to test the machine. Although most brands offer warranty for peace of mind during any purchase. Before bidding, therefore, it is important to inquire properly on the condition of the machine and the warranty that it carries if these things are not expressly stated in the product’s description.
If you are buying your machine from a garage sale or flea market, ask for the possibility of plugging it in to test it. There are usually designated places for doing this.
What to ask the seller?
If you are buying on Amazon, you will find that most sellers answer these vital questions in their description. It is, however, important to note that some don’t, because it probably doesn’t occur to them. In no particular order, be sure that the seller answers the following questions aptly before committing to buy from them.
- Is there any mechanical problem to be worried about, or does it work smoothly?
- Is any of the machine’s part missing? While we understand the machine and how it works, others don’t. If you are buying from a physical location, you will find that some sellers claim not to have the pedal. This allows them not to claim any knowledge of the working condition of the machine.
- Does the machine sew forward or backward?
- What is the condition of the wiring of the machine?
- Does the machine come with any additional attachments?
All these are pretty important questions that will help you determine the state of the machine and whether you are making the right choice by going for them.
There you have it, a review of the best vintage sewing machines for leather. The reviews above should help you get the perfect model for your needs. Purchasing a vintage sewing machine should be easier after reading our reviews and the buying guide. Now that you are properly informed, there’s no need to delay anymore. Get a vintage sewing machine and start enjoying its wonderful benefits.
If you still need a little assistance in decision making, we advise considering the Juki TL-2010Q, as this machine comprises the heist quality with versatility and convenience.