SissipahawLeatherCo

Machine Needle + Thread For Lightweight Upholstery/Garment Leather

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Hi all, I have a Juki Manufactured Econosew Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with a Servo-Speed Motor. I've only had it a few months and I'm finding the tension to be very difficult to get correct. I have zero experience with industrial machines, especially for leather, so I've been having to figure it out as I go. I live pretty remotely so there's no one near who can come over and show me the ropes.

I've spent hours and hours and hours adjusting the top and bottom tensions and I have yet to get it perfect. I discussed this with my mother in law who is a sewing machine genius (but sadly lives across the country) and she suggested that it could be the wrong needle and thread size for the weight of leather I use.

Prior to getting the machine I researched here on the forum for needle and thread size for leather and was told to use needle size 22/140 and lubricated nylon thread size 138. However, I think the error is that those are for thicker and heavier leathers. I primarily need the machine for lightweight soft leathers and suedes. Think upholstery weight and sometimes even garment weight.

Should I use a smaller needle? Different thread? The lubricated thread I got from http://www.tolindsewmach.com/ seems too slippery for what I sew and also too thin. I'd like thicker thread for the aesthetic.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Tired of spending hours and getting nowhere.

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I have a Consew 206RB walking foot machine, and I use #23 leather point needles and 138 bonded nylon thread to sew my garment weight leather purses. 

My machine is super picky about needle placement when sewing leather. It needs to be set just right or it will fray thread like crazy. 

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If I can help start this off lets run through a couple questions.

I understand a garmet / maybe 2-4 ounce leather and a 138 nylon thread running thru a 22/140 needle.

Is there a needle number, brand on the pack. Probably 135x17-  and maybe the same listed some how ?, is it a leather needle.

ok

Can you help explain a bit for me what the top or bottom side stitch looks like first so to setup the troubleshoot so to say.

To add in that lets figure the layers and or if a fold / feld type is being used for a seam style.

Just to gauge something else, let see whats a denim or jean 2 layer look like later in the workup here. or a similar textile.

The machine your using is really designed with that 138 thread and a bit below for best results imho.

Have a Good Friday

Floyd

Edited by brmax

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5 hours ago, SissipahawLeatherCo said:

Hi all, I have a Juki Manufactured Econosew Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with a Servo-Speed Motor. I've only had it a few months and I'm finding the tension to be very difficult to get correct. I have zero experience with industrial machines, especially for leather, so I've been having to figure it out as I go. I live pretty remotely so there's no one near who can come over and show me the ropes.

I've spent hours and hours and hours adjusting the top and bottom tensions and I have yet to get it perfect. I discussed this with my mother in law who is a sewing machine genius (but sadly lives across the country) and she suggested that it could be the wrong needle and thread size for the weight of leather I use.

Prior to getting the machine I researched here on the forum for needle and thread size for leather and was told to use needle size 22/140 and lubricated nylon thread size 138. However, I think the error is that those are for thicker and heavier leathers. I primarily need the machine for lightweight soft leathers and suedes. Think upholstery weight and sometimes even garment weight.

Should I use a smaller needle? Different thread? The lubricated thread I got from http://www.tolindsewmach.com/ seems too slippery for what I sew and also too thin. I'd like thicker thread for the aesthetic.

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Tired of spending hours and getting nowhere.

In your case I would advise to mail order some good needles and threads and experiment (don't need lubed thread for thin leathers but likely a cutting point needle). If you look at the Schmetz site <http://www.schmetzneedles.com/industrial-needles/> you can obtain ideas about what will fit your purpose. Research (Google) anything you desire. I started from scratch and educated myself to the point where I could put zips into motorbike jackets and even reconditioned my own machines (Pfaff 335 & 345 bought cheap). Jim V 

Edited by vonkas
correction

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When I sew garment leather on my walking foot machine, I back off the bobbin spring tension first. I set it to have a modicum of pull and make sure it is smooth, not jerky. Next, using the best size needle for the thread, I balance the position of the knots using a combination of the top tensioner and the check spring.

I have a rule of thumb for thread sizes. If the total thickness is 3 to 4 ounces, I use #69 bonded thread and a #18 leather point needle. For 5 to 8 ounces, I use #92 thread with a #19 needle. If you want to have a larger top thread, try #138 on top, with #92 in the bobbin, using a #22 leather needle. Back way off the top tension. The minimum thickness for this combination would be about 7 to 8 ounces.

The lowered bobbin and upper tension lets the stitches lay flatter, without puckering the soft leather. You may need to lengthen the travel of the check spring to work with thin thread and light tensions. The tension on that spring may also need to be backed off to the least needed to have a full amount of spring travel.

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Needle/thread is way too big. You can still get the effect using smaller thread. Try 69 thread with a #20 or #21 needle. I found using #46 thread with 2oz veg tan glued to lambskin works great. I tried thicker thread and it was a nightmare getting the stitches to look right. One tip I picked up there was to decrease the stitch length, doing that helped a lot.

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