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Message Board > Sewing Machines > singer 99k + leather = problems? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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singer 99k + leather = problems?
leather sewing going wrong
eddieperro
eddieperro
Member since 4/16/12
Posts: 6
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Date: 4/17/12 11:43 AM

I'm new to this site, but now I've found it I'm hooked!
I really need some advice - I've had my lovely old Singer 99k for years, and it has always worked well. I've been sewing leather now for a few weeks on it, and I'm struggling.....mainly with missing stitches, thread snapping, bobbin problems etc. Although I'm slowly accepting that maybe I have to go for a more 'industrial' machine, I'm a bit perplexed as the 99k reviews I'm reading are claiming that it can EASILY sew through leather/denim/extra thick fabric!
If the 99k is supposed to be capable of so much, will I be wasting my money going for something else that claims to be able to tackle leather? Is it something I'm probably doing very wrong?
I've tried everything - proper leather needles, turning slowly by hand, using cotton thread, dusting talcum powder on the leather to stop it sticking, putting thin selotape on the leather, but I still can't get a consistent stitch.
Any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated:)
Lyn

karen149
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karen149  Friend of PR
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In reply to eddieperro <<


Date: 4/17/12 11:55 AM

Sure, the 99 can sew through leather...just not on a regular basis. This is a household sewing machine, despite all the claims you see on eBay about being heavy duty industrial strength. If you are going to be sewing leather regularly, you may want to invest in a walking foot machine, like a Sailrite portable or a full size industrial made for leather sewing.
-- Edited on 4/18/12 7:48 PM --

eddieperro
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Date: 4/17/12 1:29 PM

Thanks for your reply, I'm looking online now at industrial machines, but I don't have a lot of space in the house and they're huge! I'm in the UK and the brand you suggested is too expensive for me.....I'll keep looking!

karen149
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In reply to eddieperro <<


Date: 4/17/12 3:42 PM

You may find a good used industrial through local listings such as craigslist. What type of leather are you sewing?

lkmbpk
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In reply to eddieperro <<


Date: 4/17/12 9:24 PM

There are other, less expensive, brands of portable walking foot sewing machines available. Not sure what you have available in the UK, but in the US, most are about half the price of a Sailrite. Check ebay or Amazon for portable walking foot sewing machines. You could use that as a price reference and possibly talk a local dealer down.

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Nancy Rhodes
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Nancy Rhodes  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/18/12 8:06 AM

Household machines should be able to sew soft garment leathers. Those are thin, THIN and very flexible and two layers should be fine. That said, did you try lengthening the stitch? What kind of leather are you sewing? The right tool for the job. Check out a Tipman Boss ... very cool hand stitcher for leather.. good luck!

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GothDom
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Date: 4/18/12 5:23 PM

Yeah,
the 99 will do garment leather with ease, assuming you use proper needles etc...

Tack leather or thicker hide... not so much.
It's not designed for it and even if you manage to force it to do what you want, you will over time damage your machine.

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eddieperro
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Date: 4/20/12 5:34 PM

I'm sewing with lightweight to heavy weight leather (plus lining), I suppose from soft, skirt thickness to jacket thickness. I've spent a few days looking at what feels like 100's of machines. I really like the older, heavier Pfaff models, but whether they're up to my needs I don't know! I've put my sewing on hold until I can get into a store or supplier and actually test some leather on an industrial or semi-industrial - I'm ruining too many projects.
There is nothing on craigslist in my area, and I don't trust the claims made on ebay listings (ie 'this machine can sew 6mm of leather) when I know this isn't true!
Yes I did lengthen the stitch, still no joy!
I do appreciate all the replies, and will keep checking back:)

Coconuts
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Coconuts  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/20/12 5:54 PM

What size leather needle are you using? I found that a size 14 was useless on leather (and this was with two layers of ultra, ultra thin suede) and would break when faced with putting a bar tack on corduroy belt loops.

eddieperro
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Date: 5/4/12 9:41 AM

I think I've found what I'm looking for, a Singer 111G155 - it's the right price and has a walking foot, an old machine but I like it. I've requested a review here, wonder if anyone has any words of wisdom for me before I buy it?
Thanks!

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