What Type of Thread Do You Use to Sew Leather?


What Type of Thread Do You Use to Sew Leather?

Learn what the best thread for stitching and sewing leather is, and you'll be making durable, long-lasting, and attractive leather projects in no time!

What Type of Thread Do You Use to Sew Leather
What Type of Thread Do You Use to Sew Leather

Because of its thick weight and easily marked surface, leather may pose some difficulties for sewists.

However, choosing the correct thread can make all the difference in the sturdiness, longevity, and overall look of your leather project.

That's why you should always select the best threads for leather: bonded nylon or waxed linen threads.

What type of thread do You use to sew leather?

Of course, there are different types of leather, along with thicknesses or coating, and that's important to remember. If you're looking for thread to use for thick leather, you'll want a stronger version than when sewing a thinner material.

Nylon thread is known for its strength and durability, and it is, therefore, a go-to choice for thicker fabrics like canvas, vinyl, and leather.

So, when it comes to the thread needed for sewing leather, it can make or break your project (and sometimes your machine!), which is why it's vital to choose wisely. You'll learn more details about thread for leather below.

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Tips for Choosing the Best Thread for Sewing Leather

According to the SuperiorThreads article, “Which thread is best for sewing on leather?” bonded nylon thread, especially, is used for sewing leather because the bonding process it undergoes reduces friction while sewing and keeps the thread from unraveling.

Waxed linen thread, used for hand-sewing leather, is rot-resistant, stiff, water-resistant, and less stretchy, according to TheThreadExchange’s “Waxed Thread Guide.” This means that leather sewn with waxed linen thread is not only going to be securely fastened, but it is also going to withstand long-term wear and tear, such as water exposure and seam tension.

However, this thread does not generally work for use on the sewing machine, since the wax could clog the sewing needle and other parts of the machine along the tread path.

Whichever thread best suits your sewing projects, always make sure to choose the correct thread thickness for your leather. Nylon thread comes in a variety of weights, so you should consider the fabric’s recommendations before selecting a thread.

Other Tips for Sewing With Leather

Choosing the correct thread is no doubt the most important consideration to take in when beginning a leather sewing project. However, there are a few other ways to facilitate your leather sewing projects so that they’re as easy as possible to finish!

  1. If your presser foot is not correctly feeding your leather through your sewing machine, you could try several alternatives, as outlined in Louise’s and Simon’s CreatesSpaceAdelaide article, “Tips for sewing leather on your regular home sewing machine”:

    1. "Firstly, you could try a [T]eflon foot. These are sometimes also referred to as a non-stick foot or an ultra-glide foot." These types of Teflon feet "allow the leather (or faux leather, [PVC,] and similar textiles) to glide through without sticking to the foot."
    2. "Secondly, you could try a roller foot...The rollers (there are normally three - one larger one at the front and two smaller ones towards the back) help to control the movement of the leather and guide it under the foot as you sew."
    3. "Thirdly, you could try a walking foot...[T]his one has its own feed dogs that work in combination with the machine's feed dogs to grip the leather from both the top and bottom and feed it through the machine evenly as you sew."

  2. Use a needle specifically designed for sewing leather. These needles more easily pierce the fabric.

  3. Unlike other fabrics, any hole you make in leather is permanent. The more holes you make in leather, therefore, the weaker the fabric becomes. If possible, try to reduce the number of holes you make in leather by...

    1. Using pin alternatives, such as binder clips and paper clips, to secure your project, as recommended by Kelly Ralph, in her NationalSewingCircle article "Tips for Sewing with Leather."
    2. Using a knot instead of a backstitch to secure your thread.

BONUS! Leather Sewing Projects

You have your thread and you've learned your pro leather sewing tips, so now you're ready to hit the foot pedal! Try out your leather skill with this collection of suave sewing patterns. Whether you're looking for a new tote or a cord organizer, this list has everything you'll need to look sleek on-the-go.

Cad-a-Log Firewood Carrier

If you're brave enough to withstand the frigid chill of winter cabin nights, then you should do it in the most stylish way possible! Give your rustic home decor a sophisticated twist with this homey firewood carrier.

Leather Belt Purse

You'll never have to use your hands to hold onto your purse again with this elegant and unique leather design. Your shoulders will thank you for whipping up this adjustable, hip, and sleek Leather Belt Purse.

Posh Leather DIY Cord Organizer

Cords and chargers can be expensive, so if you want to keep them intact for as long as possible, use this DIY organizer! Perfect for travel, this sophisticated pattern will keep your cords from getting tangled.

Luxurious Leather Tote Bag Tutorial

Ever fallen in love with a gorgeous leather bag, only to have your heart broken by the outrageous price tag? This bag tutorial will teach you how to make a bag with all of the glamor and none of the cost.

Minimalist DIY Magazine Holder

For those who like homemade storage ideas without the frills, this minimalist holder is the perfect solution. With some leather and canvas, give your room a smooth organizational overhaul your whole family will love.

Professional Leather DIY Card Holder

With this easy DIY wallet tutorial, you can make an elegant--but low-cost--cardholder with minimal effort. Plus, when people ask where you got your classy new wallet, you can say you made it yourself!

Hands-Free Hip Bag Tutorial

This DIY hip bag is strap-free and is a great way to practice working with leather and other material, like rivets. Fanny packs are bulky and outdated, but this trendy version has a classic and chic vintage vibe.

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Awesome tips! Leather can be so thick that I get nervous I'll break my machine.


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