No matter what your sewing needs are, chances are you have a heavy fabric in your closet. Whether it is denim or wool or any other type of thick textile that can’t be sewn with the standard machine, there is an option for you to sew these fabrics without breaking out the needle and thread.
Not all machines are created equal. Machines that are made for sewing light fabrics will not be able to handle the high thread count, weight and bulk of heavy fabrics such as denim or home furnishing fabric.
Heavy fabrics require special attention when it comes to sewing, as compared to other types of fabrics. Therefore, it is not just any sewing machine that can be used to sew heavy fabrics. Rather, these require special types of sewing machines to make.
In this article, you will know about the best sewing machines for heavy fabrics so that you don’t have to worry about feeling frustrated when faced with this task again next time.
What are the Best Sewing Machine Brands for Heavy Fabrics?
Several companies produce heavy-duty sewing machines. These sewing machines can handle heavy fabrics with ease since they are meant for that. The 3 most recommended best sewing machines for heavy fabrics are;
The heavy-duty aspect of the above-mentioned sewing machines is what makes them ideal for sewing heavy fabrics. Each of these machines offers unique and more precise functionality, as is discussed in the review section below;
Review of Best Sewing Machine for Heavy Fabrics
The following is a review of the 5 best sewing machine for heavy fabrics;
1. Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine.
Labeled a workhorse, this machine contains 23-built in stitches that can handle different purposes including, basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole. The machine gives you a good threading experience. It is fixed with an automatic needle threader to ease the strain and avoid eye frustration. Manuals and steps to thread are available on machine since the threading path is clearly shown.
2. Juki TL-2010Q Sewing Machine.
The Juki TL-2010Q heavy-duty sewing machine can be used to handle heavy fabric. It is a portable sewing machine that contains the lock-stitch system. The machine is an ideal choice when it comes to precision stitching and sewing because it is equipped with white LED lighting, speed control slider, and sub-tension mechanism.
3. Juki DDL-8700 Sewing Machine.
The stitching speed of the Juki DDL-8700 sewing machine is fast enough to enable you to finish your project fast. It can do up to 5500 stitches per minute. The arm space measures 11 inches (27.94 cm) and enables you to work with large quilts. The Juki sewing machine can handle a stitch length of up to 5 mm which gives you the freedom to work on the quilts. Also, this best sewing machine for heavy fabrics can handle 6 stitches per inch, hence allows one to handle a close job.
4. Singer CG590 Commercial Grade Sewing Machine.
The singer heavy fabric sewing machine stitches up to 1100 stitches per minute hence making it speedy and quality. The foot control is completely automatic and electronic, hence provides a speed that is uniform and without jumps. There is an allowance to control the speed using the regulating dial.
5. Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine.
The brother sewing machine contains an auto-size buttonhole and 37 different stitches that are unique. The machine contains an automatic needle threader that enables sewers to handle needle threading so easily. It also includes a wide arm that enables users to handle different sewing jobs each day. Brother sewing machine has manual support and technical support that can be contacted through means such as live chat or even phone calls. There is also a video manual as well as instructional materials that enable you to make the set up with ease.
Buying Guide for Best Sewing Machine for Heavy Fabrics
Some brands are well established and have made sales all over the world. Singer and brother are well known while others like Janome are making a breakthrough to the market and are getting established. Depending on your budget you may decide to purchase from either an independent shop or even the company itself if it is within reach.
Buying from an independent shop may come with advantages such as on spot personnel guide on how to get started. The price might be negotiable or even possible to get it at a credit.
Look at the warranty terms, understand what the warranty covers, and what it does not cover. It will be great if you make purchases when special events and celebrations are ongoing because discounts are huge at these times. Also, try products before purchasing them. You may bring some fabric samples and test the capability of the sewing machine.
Coupons are a great way you can save some money when making a purchase. Look for coupons online especially on websites that offer online shopping experience.
Identify repair centers where you can deliver the sewing machine for repair in case of damage or malfunction. Learn about these repair centers and their turnaround time. It is highly recommended that you identify the repair centers that are authorized by the manufacturer so that the warranty is not nulled.
Also, get to know about the machines beforehand before making any purchases. For you to make a good choice of machines, have first-hand knowledge of the sewing machines, their features, and their weaknesses. Having this essential knowledge will help you understand what sewing machine you need.
There are three types of sewing machines; mechanical sewing machines, electronic sewing machines, and embroidery sewing machines. These different sewing machines carry out different purposes, functions, and use different mechanisms. For instance, the heavy-duty sewing machines, whether electronic or mechanical, handle different types of jobs. Therefore, it is wise to understand what projects you would like to handle using your sewing machine, then narrow down to the intended machines.
The replacement and spare tools for the sewing machine may be available or even difficult to access in some regions. Therefore, ensure you find out where to get the spare parts of your heavy-duty sewing machine before making the purchase.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Sewing Machine for Heavy Fabric
When buying a sewing machine, you need to ensure you make the right choice. Therefore, you may need to consider these factors to ensure you take the right step;
It is usually said that cheap is expensive. When purchasing a sewing machine, look into the quality. Usually, cheap sewing machines have weak frames and build, and are made of plastic bobbins and most parts are weak. Therefore, these may break quickly.
Expensive machines have high-end functionality and some are worth the pay. It can be wise if you buy a sewing machine that can give you medium functionality rather than the low-end sewing machine.
2. Mechanical or Computerized Sewing Machines.
The technology has made it possible for people to have automated sewing machines whose usage is easy, accurate, and faster. Though these machines are expensive in comparison to the mechanical, they have strong motors and programmed stitch sequences. Mechanical sewing machines have lesser parts since they involve less functionality and are lightweight.
3. Where to Buy Your Sewing Machine
Buying from the local shops, or other certified online shops, such as Amazon, is advantageous since you can get the delivery done shortly after the purchase.
But from such trusted sources also guarantees that you get warranty services, sometimes even get after-sale services, such as live tutorials.
Furthermore, whenever you need to access the shop for spare parts or consultation, it becomes easier and cheap.
4. Type of fabric
When purchasing heavy-duty sewing machines, pick the right sewing machine for your fabric. Normally, heavy fabrics need you to choose strong machines with a heavy build. Knowing the type of fabric to use will enable you to make the right choice of the sewing machine and the right needle to use, to avoid damaging the machine by either using the wrong needle or using it for the wrong purpose. Do tests on your heavy fabrics with the sewing machine to test the ability of your sewing machine. For commercial use, pick an industrial-grade sewing machine to get better service.
Basics of Heavy Duty Sewing Machine
These sewing machines offer services for sewing heavy fabrics, speedy sewing, and quick project execution due to their powerful motors. They last for long, and they have less complicated designs and features. These machines are made to handle heavy fabrics and even some light duty sewing. They can last for many years if they are well taken care of.
Some sewing machines are made using metal construction or steel frames. Heavy-duty sewing machines have a strong build and strong motors fixed in them. They make use of strong needles that are specifically made to handle heavy fabrics. Metal frames make these heavy-duty sewing machines a bit heavier when compared to others.
Also, some heavy-duty sewing machines will offer large sewing tables that will enable you to handle big projects involving large fabrics. The types of heavy fabrics that can be handled by the heavy-duty sewing machines include; leather, cotton, denim, and layers of quilts. The machines are stable and have a smooth top for good experience in the sewing process. They may be moved from one point to the other since they can be easily dismantled and separated from the table.
The heavy-duty sewing machines have threading paths indicated, either in the manual or even on the machine itself. This makes it user-friendly, as novice users can make use of these great heavy-duty sewing machines. The machine is easy to use and one will spend much time perfecting its viability of sewing rather than focusing on how to use the machine.
Some heavy-duty sewing machines have time-saving features such as; automatic needle threading mechanism and automatic tension adjusting mechanism. The automated functionality enables everyone to enjoy using the machine with ease since they do not strain when it comes to needle threading and even operation.
Types of Heavy Fabric
Heavy fabrics are associated with higher weight due to their nature. Understanding the nature of the different materials that exist today will help you to make the right choice when deciding to do heavyweight sewing. Heavyweight materials have thick intertwining fabric materials that make it appear heavyweight. They are strong and sturdy and hence used to make durable projects.
These fabrics exist in different types namely;
Denim is preferred in most clothing like jeans due to its long-lasting effect. It is also used in jackets, bags, and upholstery due to its sturdy and durable nature. There exist different types of denim with different features but maintaining the same characteristics. These include; 100% cotton Denim, Raw denim, Sanforized Denim, colored denim, Stretch denim, Selvedge Denim, Crushed Denim, Waxed reverse Denim, Acid wash Denim, Poly Denim, Ecru Denim, and Bull Denim.
Canvass is thick and rigid with weight that can enable you to experience strong and durable fabric material. It can be used to make bags, upholstery, pants, and awnings. Canvas exists in form of nylon, polyester, hemp, and even as a combination of these existing forms with other materials.
Check this guide for our recommended sewing machine for canvas and leather.
3. Polyester Fleece
This fabric is thick and has a soft nap. The surface is made such that it is insulating and feels warm. Most of these fabrics are used to make winter jackets and outdoor clothing. This material is heavyweight and can, therefore, be used to sew heavy fabric materials.
How do you Sew Heavy Fabric?
Before you start any sewing, always ensure you wash the fabric. There are dust and the particles that need to be removed from it so that it does not bring devastating issues to your sewing machine. Getting started with sewing project might be affected by the strong materials of the heavy fabric. You may need a walking foot to sew in this situation. This is especially so if there are two layers of the fabric used. Where possible do fewer layers because the thickness might even break the needle or not allow it to go through the fabric.
Make few folds whenever necessary and ensure you keep as few layers as possible. Using the right needle will help you save on resources and avoid damage to the sewing machine. This also saves you time as the needle that is well fitted for heavy fabric gives you the best experience. Always consider heavy fabric needles when dealing with heavy fabrics.
To sew a heavy fabric, lift the presser foot to ensure it is at its highest position. Then bring the heavy fabric to be sewn under the presser foot. Pin your fabric using clips rather than pins since it may be thick and heavy for the pins to go through. Ensure the material is under control and that you can move it forward and backward with ease. Tailors hammer can help you press the materials together to have a smooth execution of the sewing.
Use a longer stitch length for the heavy-duty sewing to achieve the best seam. Range your stitch length from 3 to 3.5 depending on the materials. When all is set start sewing, however when the machines won’t sew, try using a hand sewing machine. Hand sewing is one way to stitch together two thick fabrics together. All these applicable sewing techniques for heavy fabrics will find use in most heavy fabric sewing projects.
What is the Difference Between a Heavy Duty Sewing Machine and a Regular Sewing Machine?
Heavy-duty sewing machines are meant for sewing heavy fabrics, with strong and sturdy materials. These heavy-duty sewing machines are long-lasting and can sew many projects due to their strong make. Heavy-duty sewing machines are made to serve both lightweight fabrics and heavyweight fabrics.
On the other hand, regular sewing machines are made for lightweight sewing of the regular sewing projects. These cannot handle heavy fabrics due to the light nature of their making.
How Many Layers of Heavy Fabric can a Sewing Machine Sew?
Depending on the nature of the fabric, the number of layers that each project can handle is determined. For heavyweight fabrics, the layers should be as minimal as possible since they require higher power. Heavyweight fabrics differ in terms of the thickness, and even their weight, despite all being in the heavyweight category. If the heavyweight fabric is less thick, then you can do several layers.
What is the Best Heavy Duty Sewing Machine for Home Use?
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine can serve as a better heavy-duty sewing machine. Singer company has been around for a long and there is no doubt that they offer quality sewing machines. They have perfected their production with time and most customers have reviewed their heavy-duty sewing machine with higher stars. You can rest assured that this heavy-duty sewing machine is a power horse that will serve you to the best degree.
What Does Heavy Duty Sewing Machine Mean?
Heavy-duty sewing machines are differentiated from other types of sewing machines by their ability and make. Heavyweight sewing machine can do faster sew, with some doing up to 6000 stitches per minute. They are durable and handle heavyweight fabrics with ease. These heavy-duty sewing machines are highly preferred in cases of mass production since they are made to handle all these.
What is the Most Reliable Brand of Heavy Duty Sewing Machine?
The Singer brand of sewing machines remains the most reliable brand of heavy-duty sewing machines. This brand deals with a wide range of heavy-duty sewing machines for users to choose from. Some of their heavy-duty sewing machines are mechanical while others are computerized. They offer warranties that they sincerely honor in case of damage or anything.
What Kind of Sewing Machine do I Need for Upholstery?
The most ideal sewing machines for making upholstery are the heavy-duty sewing machines. The types of sewing machines are designed with strong metallic parts that can sew the thick and heavy fabric of upholstery.
Can I Sew Canvas with a Regular Sewing Machine?
Canvas is a heavyweight fabric, meaning that it requires a heavy-duty sewing machine. Therefore, choose a heavy-duty sewing machine for canvas. However, sometimes it might be possible to use a regular sewing machine. When a regular sewing machine is used, then make sure you do not do so more often. Regular sewing machines only offer occasional assist when dealing with canvas material. Using a regular sewing machine for this work might damage it or break needles. You should find a heavy-duty sewing machine for this purpose.
What Tension Should I Use for Thick Fabric?
The thicker the fabric, the higher the tension. This is because high tension is required to lift the thread on the bottom side to the middle of the fabric. Usually, a tension from 3 to 5 is used on thick fabrics. Since heavyweight fabrics have different heavyweights, the tension choice is determined by how thick the fabric is.
Sewing is an art that everyone must learn. Above all, we all need long-lasting machines and clothing. And, regular sewing machines cannot create such long-lasting clothes and machines. Therefore, purchase one of the 5 above most recommended sewing machines for heavy fabric; only these types of sewing machines can guarantee you a fun and smooth sewing experience!