I've been lurking around the site for a while and recently decided to join so I could ask a few questions and see some informational pictures. Hey everybody!
Im a young civil-engineer and ive been handcrafting leather products for friends and family on the weekends and some nights. Some of my gear landed in the right hands so Ive decided to leave my current job and start a new venture. I'm launching a start-up and only have experience with hand-stitching. Honestly, I hate to break away from hand stitching but some products will require it. I need to find a machine to evaluate cost, so I can program it into my line-item budget (my original budget provided to the investors ranged the machine from $1500-$3000.
What I'll be making:
Handbags; "totes"; satchels; rucksacks; purses; clutches; duffel-bags; Belts; wallets (probably still going to hand stitch these) but open to machine sewing; in-pocket phone cases; luggage/bag straps:
Some of these products (30%) will be a mix of waxed canvas and leather, but most will be completely comprised of leather.
I'm using Horween Cordovan Shell for smaller items and good quality veg-tan hides for bags. The weight will range from 3-4oz leather for small items to 9-10oz for larger items.
I'm not looking to spend a fortune, but I'm willing to invest in a good machine.
I've looked at the Cowboy 4500 and some Juki and Consew machines, but since I have absolutely no experience with machines, I don't know what to get and don't know if I need anything like that.. I've been to several design-studios in the past few months and they all seem to have long arm table-top machine with compound walking feet. I'm not stuck on any machine or any style. I'm up for any and all recommendations.
I'll be hiring a few interns who have fashion-design experience and of course multi-material sewing experience, but that will be in 2014... I'd like to find and buy the machine now to start familiarizing myself with it. When I'm in the full swing of things, I'll have to buy more machines as well. However, I need something that is somewhat multi-purpose.
I'm pretty proficient in PAD 5.0 drawings/files and also Adobe Illustrator and CAD if anyone ever has questions on that or how that could use it with product design.
Disclaimer: highly-technical sewing lingo will fly directly over my head. I apologize for my ignorance,