Working on a piece of leather is a bit difficult than when working on normal fabrics. Its texture is tough and tends to break the sewing needles and other components of the sewing machine.
Leather can also be problematic to work on, especially if one is new to the activity. However, it does not take long for one to master the art of doing it.
With a little practice daily, you can perfect everything within a short time, in the comfort of your room. In this article, we are going to look at how to sew leather on a home sewing machine. Please read on for more information.
The procedure: How to sew leather on a home sewing machine?
⇒ Inspect the fabric/leather for any imperfection.
Inspect it for any mistakes on the fabric. It will not be easy to correct any imperfection when you are already sewing it. The best way to navigate through is to choose one that has a smooth surface and texture.
A rough piece of leather will require a very strong needle, or otherwise, it will just break. There are several types of leather, and each requires a different kind of craftsmanship. The common types include aniline and semi-aniline, faux, and suede leathers, and so on.
Choose the leather type that you will work on, depending on the needle that you have. The durability of your tools should guide on the leather that you will choose. You should also consider the quality of the end product. Leather shoes, for example, will use a different type from the one of a leather jacket.
Always make sure that the material you choose to work on should be free of errors. If you are doing it for business, then I am pretty sure that you will not want to sell substandard products to your clients.
⇒ Draw the patterns and the plan.
Take a pencil and draw the sketch plans of how you want the final product to appear. Since you will cut out the patches, you should consider giving it an extra room so that you do not sew a perfect fitting. Always leave some small room for expansion.
You can cut out these cuttings using tools such as a rotary cutter, tracing pens, press knives, and clicking press, and so on.
Cut out the unnecessary patterns from that which you will sew. Do not forget to trace the patterns on the drawing fabric. If you don’t, it will cause some unpleasant markings on the leather.
⇒ Fit the leather.
The step can come either before or after the second step. The leather has to be flat and must fit under the presser foot when pressing it. In that way, when you run the stitches, both the feed dog and the needle will work in harmony and smoothly.
If you want the leather to hold temporary when pressing, you can apply some light adhesives. The adhesive will let go within a moment after sewing.
⇒ Set up the sewing machine.
Consider the type of leather that you are to sew and select the most appropriate needle. One needle cannot work on all types of leather. Different types of leather will require a different set of needles.
Needles also vary in use and compatibility with the type of sewing machine you are using. Leather is thicker, and hence you will also require a thicker needle so that it can penetrate it without breaking down.
Another thing to note is that you should choose a durable needle to avoid it bending all the time. Such factors can interfere with your activities at any given time.
⇒ Select the thread.
You can pick either nylon or a polyester one. The choice that you go for has to be the best for the type of leather under the sewing machine. Consider both the thickness of the leather and the durability of the thread to the material you are sewing.
My advice is that you use either of the two above because they are a product of fibrous material. The two are durable as well.
Polyester and nylon threads are ideal for sewing the leather. Any other thread will not hold on for long.
The interfacing cloth.
This step is optional, though it is advisable not to skip. It adds a lot of value to the end product. Much also depends on your tapestry.
The interfacing cloth also helps to hide some unnecessary markings on the edges of your leather. It helps to reduce or minimize the imperfections on both the leather and the sewing, and hence making the end product to be outstanding and visible amongst the other products.
Interfacing cloth helps to secure the leather and to keep it in place.
⇒ Flatten the leather.
If you fail to keep it flat, the sewing machine will cause the disturbance. Remember that the stitches have to be in a straight line, and you can achieve this if the leather does not face interruption.
Where possible, use thin interfacing clothes, and apply an adhesive to the leather to avoid making it bulkier.
With flat leather, the sewing machine will run smoothly, and the needle will remain free of damages. The presser foot and the feed dog will not get damaged. Keeping the leather flat will give your sewing machine long life, and hence the quality of your work will be excellent.
Keep checking on the needle after you have run the stitches. Sometimes, the nature of the material can be too thick for the needle and hence may end up becoming edgeless. You will then need to replace it as a broken needle will not perform the work.
Do not rely on one needle when working on leather as you do not know if one will begin the task and run through to the end. Have some few pieces for backup, just in case the one you have broken down becomes blunt, or even fails to perform.
⇒ Straighten the surface using a plastic tool.
It helps to avoid having a bulky surface. Do not sew the plastic and the leather together, rather use the plastic to flatten the surface of the leather. Be careful not to place it between the feed dog and the needle to avoid sewing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
What thread do you use for leather?
Any thread can work on the leather. However, the quality of each thread differs a lot. I would advise you to choose either nylon or a polyester thread, for they will last for as long as the final product will last. Cotton thread, for example, will not work well with leather as it will erode it over time.
How do you sew faux leather on a sewing machine?
There are no much differences when sewing different types of leather. With faux leather, you will have to follow all the steps, as highlighted above in this article. You should pay a keen observation of the measurements and the machine set-up. Remember to select the right type of thread and have some extra pieces of needles as a backup.
Is sewing by hand better than a machine?
There is no reason to believe that sewing by hand is better than sewing using the machine. Sewing by the machine will hasten the work, and it will lead to the production of standardized products.
Hand sewing is only best for small pieces of projects such as sewing buttons to the final products.
Sewing by machine will give you straight-line work, and that might be a challenge when doing hand-sewing.
Sewing machines will offer you several sewing styles and patterns that are not available by hand.
I can conclude to say that sewing by hand is not better than sewing by machine.
It is possible to sew leather on a home sewing machine. What is more important is to adhere to the above steps. Leather is thicker than other forms of fabrics, and hence you will need to exercise some care when dealing with it.
Keep on checking the needle as it might bend or even become edgeless!