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Thread: Sewing leather with Singer Featherweight

  1. #1
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    Sewing leather with Singer Featherweight

    Does anyone have experience sewing leather on the Featherweight? What has your experience been? Can this little machine handle such heavy duty applications?

    Best,
    Chris

  2. #2
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    Sorry, I have never tried it. My grandmother told me she had a neighbor that used to borrow her treadle machine to sew leather on a fairly regular basis.

  3. #3
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrwright View Post
    Does anyone have experience sewing leather on the Featherweight? What has your experience been? Can this little machine handle such heavy duty applications?

    Best,
    Chris
    I don't think I would use my featherweight. They are great for piecing and lightweight things. Just my HO. I have sewn leather on a Singer 15. Works great on that. Let's see what others post.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    BAD idea. It would be an excellent way to ruin a sweet machine.

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Leather requires a special needle( chisel point), and sometimes depending on the leather type, a roller foot works better than a regular foot. If you have the right needle and foot , and the leather is not too thick it would be possible. Leather like fabric has lots of different weights , thicknesses, and other properties. The next questions is what kind of thread are you planning on using?
    Last edited by Lori S; 02-09-2013 at 10:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member makitmama's Avatar
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    I sew a lot of leather so you can pm me if you need to. If you are sewing garment leather in the 1oz range you would so ok. However any all metal full sized machine would do better sine the fw only has a .6 amp motor. My 201 is a little better, any my Pfaff can handle up to 3 oz with no problem.
    Cil



    I'm a Queen.... at least my pantyhose say I am!


    (proud caretaker of a magenta 221, purple 222, assorted 66's, a 301, a pink Atlas and Monarch, and Granny's 201-2.

  7. #7
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    I would never use a Singer 221 Featherweight to sew leather, or any heavy fabric. I don't think it is made for it. It has a precision feed system, made for piecing quilts and sewing light weight clothes, IMHO. I would not want to ruin a Featherweight, and I think leather might do that.

  8. #8
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    I'm afraid to try that, but I bought one of my FW's from a man who had a shoe shop in NY and used it.

  9. #9
    Super Member Christine-'s Avatar
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    I've sewn thick leather seams with my 15-91 as well as my 201. If I still owned a Featherweight I would have used it to sew leather. The leather I used was a full 1/4" thick when you put 2 pieces of it together to sew a seam, and I had no trouble whatsoever. Click on my blog below, go to the Quilting page, and scroll down to the 7th photo... enlarge it and you'll see the pile of thick leather sitting next to my 15-91 before I cut it up to upholster a chiropractor's table.

    If you use the right needle you won't have any trouble. A leather needle will cut through leather like it's butter. The reason I say you should be able to sew leather with your featherweight is that the inards are pretty much the same as the 15-91 or 201... just shorter in places.

    A featherweight is not a wimpy machine, you'll be fine sewing leather if you use leather needles.
    Bernina 640, Singer 201-3, Singer Centennial 15-91, Tin Lizzie 26" long arm

  10. #10
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use a FW for it either but my mom probably would have. She used her FW to re-upholster the couch, mend the pop up camper and you name it and the darn thing still works. Here is a link to a clean up on it my sister and I did a couple years ago. You can see for yourself how beat up the poor machine looks from all the abuse: http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...t-t174236.html
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  11. #11
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    Hi Miriam, just read through that thread--what an awesome story (and pictures)!
    - Rain

    Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog
    http://vssmb.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Thank you Rain. We had a lot of questions on here at that time about cleaning a FW. We had a lot of fun with mom that day. She loved loved loved that manual reprint in large print. Her original manual was half missing very small. The machine seriously needed TLC. Mom was fearless when she sewed on that machine. She can't sew these days but she keeps the machine around just in case she wants to sew something.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  13. #13
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Back when people didn't have the disposable money we have had in recent history, and when these machines were new, they usually had one machine. And they'd do whatever needed done on that one machine. Many folks used FWs for things they were not designed to do, like sew leather and got away with it. But as has been said the FW is small, has a low power motor with little real torque, and is just generally not made for leather.
    Our little machine is a 48 vintage, I believe, and sews well. I have no intention of ruining it and would sew nothing heavier than suede or denim with it.

    For heavier leather, get a 66, or a 15-91 or a 201-2.

    Joe

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