Best Sewing Machines for Upholstery

Sewing Machines

Dealing with regular or standard sewing projects including but not limited to dressmaking, quilting and embroidering becomes easier once you learn the ropes of needlecraft. But stitching together car seats and furniture pieces, and a variety of other decorative pieces is a different ballgame altogether. The craft of upholstery entails much more than just sewing together pieces of leather, tweed, denim or canvas.

Upholstering tends to be remarkably challenging and demanding calling for special skills and expensive heavy-duty equipment for completing projects effectively. The regular sewing and embroidering machines may not suffice when it comes to upholstering or reupholstering using a range of materials from vinyl to leather. On the other hand, you’ll need to pick up and hone high-level skills and also amass considerable experience for specializing in upholstery.

No wonder most of the upholstery projects are handled largely by highly professional upholsterers and embroiderers. Nevertheless if you’re determined to learn the tricks of the trade, you’ll definitely need a hardwearing sewing machine especially designed for upholstery.       

Product Reviews

Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine

Bonus Package Includes: Janome Ultra Glide Foot, 10 Bobbins, Schmetz 80/12 Universal Needles (5pk), and Klasse 90/14 Needles for leather (5pk).

Are you looking for a durable sewing machine that’ll enable you to work with panache on smooth lightweight fabrics and also express your creativity on upholstery materials? Then you should take a close look at the Janome HD 1000 mechanical sewing machine featuring 14 extremely practical stitches. The 14 incorporated stitches comprising a user-friendly 4-step buttonhole, stretch stitches, and utility stitches enable you to sew consistently on a variety of fabrics.

The HD 1000 mechanical sewing machine is not only perfect for regular everyday embroidering and stitching but also ideal for working on upholstery textiles. Along with the Janome HD1000 Mechanical Sewing Machine, you get 5packs of Klasse 90/14 needles for leather, Schemtz 80/12 Universal Needles (5pk), 10 bobbins, and Janome Ultra Glide Foot.

You can press the Janome HD1000 sewing machine into service for attending to everyday sewing projects as well as demanding assignments like upholstering. This mechanical sewing machine equipped with a heavyweight motor, easily moves through leather and jeans, enabling you to tackle upholstery jobs with ease.

Features

  • Durable and resilient: Sewing machine’s body constructed out of cast aluminum
  • Built-in automatic needle threader
  • Includes an array of accessories such as seam ripper/buttonhole ripper, screwdrivers, needles, and bobbins
  • Accessible storage for tools
  • Compatible with treadle (foot lever)

Pros

  • Integrated with a host of practical functionalities for completing a range of needlecraft projects
  • Perfect for working on upholstery materials such as leather, denim, burlap, linen, and much more
  •  Easy-to-use 4-step buttonhole and 14 incorporated stitches for working on different types of sewing projects

Cons

  • Many users have complained that the reverse functionality more often clutters up the fabric for the final stitch
  • Needle can be positioned only to the left or in the middle (but not to the right)
  • A good number of customers have found that the machine is not fast enough

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Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

A real workhorse, the 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine from Singer comes reinforced with many useful features, letting you pass on stitches onto a variety of fabrics and materials.  Designed exclusively for heavy-duty sewing the 4411 features a hardwearing metal interior chassis, ultra-high sewing speed, stainless steel bedplate, and incredibly powerful motor. Moving through layers of heavier fabrics is a breeze thanks to the adaptable presser foot, inbuilt 4-step buttonhole; drop-in feed dog, and a top drop-in bobbin.

On the other hand, the extra powerful motor (60% more efficient compared to regular sewing machines) makes the needle move like butter on heavyweight fabrics. The free arm functionality furnishes exceptional professional results owing to ready accessibility to hard-to –reach areas like collars and cuffs.  Flexible presser foot pressure control aids in hemming both lightweight and heavier fabrics with effortless ease through straightforward manipulation of pressure foot force.

You can set the width of the stitching or stitches up to 6mm as well as change the needle’s position for specific projects like cording or topstitching. The tough metal frame of the Singer 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine not only furnishes firm support consistently but also guarantees extended functional life.

Features

  • Needle adjustable in three different positions for adding zippers, cording or topstitching
  • 1 built-in buttonhole, 4 decorative and 6 basic stitches for crafting, home décor and upholstering
  • Heavy-duty internal metal frame
  • Drop feed switch for darning socks and attaching buttons

Pros

  • You can easily insert the top-loading bobbin thereby enabling you to keep an eye on the thread supply
  • Included 4 presser feet enhances the machine’s efficiency and capability
  • 69 stitch applications including altering, mending, crafting, sewing, and upholstering
  • Capable of completing 1,100 stitches per minute

Cons

  • Not quite suitable for beginners
  • You may have to struggle to understand the instructions in the user manual

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Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with Table and Servo Motor

The 206RB-5 Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine from Consew is a genuine powerhouse effortlessly stitching through nearly any type of fabric. You can exploit the Consew 206RB Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with Table and Servo motor to the hilt for working on a range of synthetic and natural fabrics. You can also use this industrial sewing machine from Consew for processing upholstery orders of your clients in your workplace or in your customers’ workspaces.

This walking foot sewing machine includes a sturdy carry case that allows you to take the unit along with you anywhere you want to.   

Features

  • Outfitted with Servo motor
  • Extension table included
  • Comes with a hardy carry case

Pros

  • Reverse stitching feature for checking overlapping and fraying of edges
  • Can help you work on an array of fabrics such as boating and camping canvas, nylon, hemp, leather, and so on
  • Straight single-needle stitch for heavy-duty upholstery and sewing jobs

Cons

  • Maximum speed of 800 stitches per minute is a bit slow for such a machine
  • Not compatible with thickset leather material
  • Does not come with a zigzag stitch feature

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Axis Portable Upholstery Zigzag Sewing Machine

The Axis Portable Upholstery Zigzag Sewing Machine is one of the bestselling sewing machines across numerous e-commerce sites. This portable upholstery sewing machine finds extensive and varied applications including stitching on automobile upholstery, marine canvas embroidery, and sail needlework. The Axis Zigzag sewing and embroidery machine truly lives up to its name as it can effortlessly sew in a crisscross fashion.

On the other hand, it can stitch, hem, seam, and darn in a straight manner as well which speaks volume about this machine’s versatility. 

Features

  • Adaptable stitch penetration for working with various fabrics and materials
  • Blind stitch pedal
  • Speed adjustable foot controller
  • Includes a range of accessories  

Pros

  • Hemming sewing machine ideal for medium to light knitted fabrics and for making sleeves, pant cuffs, and skirt hems
  • Swing-away plate for embroidering smooth and flat pieces
  • Can work through multiple layers of dense fabrics
  • Comes with a potent power +balance wheel which is much more powerful than the conventional flywheel 

Cons

  • Will take an inordinately long time to make the most of this machine especially if you’re a learner

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JUKI DU-1181 Industrial Top and Bottom Feed Sewing Machine

https://www.amazon.com/JUKI-DU-1181-Industrial-Bottom-Machine/dp/B005I5DXIS /?tag=topkichendep-20

The DU-1181N Industrial Top and Bottom Feed Sewing Machine designed and produced by JUKI is a single-needle straight stitch unit. This JUKI sewing machine makes the most of top and bottom feed technology for seaming fabrics and materials. However, the DU-1181 has been designed basically for imparting a variety of stitch patterns and outlines on medium and lightweight fabrics. 

The integrated presser foot helps in drawing in the fabric smoothly and deftly, ultimately enabling you to sew medium-weight fabrics. Reinforced with a powerful and heavy-duty Servo sewing motor, the JUKI DU-1181N sewing machine performs effectively but without getting noisy. You receive the DU-1181N as an all-in-one package including the machine head, stand, extension table, motor, drawer, LED lights, and other essential accessories.

So once your DU-1181 industrial top and bottom feed sewing machine is delivered at your doorsteps, you can start sewing right away. 

Features

  • 110V Servo motor
  • Needle: DB x 1
  • Maximum length of stitch: 9mm
  • 2000 stitches per minute (maximum sewing speed)

Pros

  • Reinforced with top and bottom feed technology ideal for upholstery
  • Powerful Servo motor that functions quietly
  • Intuitive presser foot helps pull the fabric layers evenly which prevents fraying and/or overlapping

Cons

  • The extremely sharp feed dogs implies that this machine can’t work on soft and slim fabrics such as satin
  • Very expensive

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How to Choose the Best Sewing Machine for Upholstery?

It does not bear emphasis that you can make good use of standard sewing machines for sewing garments, quilting, and embroidering at home. However when it comes to working with upholstery fabrics such as leather, denim, polyester, nylon, rayon, and hemp you need a special sewing machine. A sewing machine designed particularly for dealing with multiple layers of heavyweight fabrics comes with a powerful motor and also boasts of versatile features.

At the same time upholstery sewing and embroidering machines are shaped out of premium materials that guarantee long-term use. Before you go shopping for an appropriate sewing machine that’ll come in handy for upholstery projects, you must take specific aspects into consideration. For a start ask yourself relevant questions and see if you can answer the posers satisfactorily.

For instance is there sufficient room or space in your workspace for safely storing the sewing machine. What kind of upholstery projects do you handle generally? What features do you want the upholstery sewing machine to come equipped with? Of course there are several other questions that you’ll want to know the answers of before you make up your mind.

Let’s walk you through the basic features that a quality sewing machine for upholstery must have:

A powerful motor

All high-quality branded upholstery sewing machines feature an extremely powerful motor that facilitates heavy fabric sewing at greater than normal speeds. Choosing an unit housing a servo motor allows you to easily adjust the stitching speed. At the same time, servo motors tend to be quieter compared to clutch motors ensuring peace of mind while working. 

Walking foot with ‘reverse’ functionality

An upholstering machine integrated with a walking foot (variously referred to as feed-dog) comes in handy for upholstery projects. The walking foot lets you drag the fabric layers at a steady rate underneath the needle. If the machine lacks this feature you’ll have to pull the top and bottom layers manually to prevent uneven or bumpy edges on the fabric.

The embedded plate in the workspace should also facilitate smooth sliding in of the leather or vinyl instead of making the material overlap or fray. The reverse functionality helps in minimizing the twisting or rolling up of heavier upholstery fabrics.

Useful add-on features and accessories-Top-loading bobbin, automatic needle threader, extension table, adjustable needle, and built-in stitches are some other practical functions that can help you to complete your upholstery projects successfully.

Conclusion

The five sewing machines for upholstery analyzed above can go a long way in enabling you to process upholstery projects. Some of the machines reviewed in this article help you to handle home-based upholstery while a couple of them allow you to cope with large-scale and complex projects. The machine you’ll ultimately choose will depend upon the availability of sufficient workspace, the type of projects you handle, and most importantly your budget.