How to sew with leather

When we think of sewing, we usually think of using materials like cotton, polycotton and knits, but using more unusual materials like silk, repurposed fabrics and leather is very rewarding – when it’s done right. Here are some tips for sewing with leather from Empisal, manufacturers of the EMPISAL EES 50

Plan each step carefully: Unlike other sewing materials, there’s no chance of a do-over with leather. Each step makes a permanent hole, so do all your fitting before you start stitching.

Knot instead of backstitching: Because of the above issue, when you end a row of stitching, rather tie a knot instead of backstitching. Backstitching can easily split or tear the leather.

Long stitch lengths: Short stitches will create perforations in the leather that are very close together, so they can easily lead to tearing. A long stitch of at least 3-4mm is best.

Use clips or tape, not pins: Using pins anywhere other than within your seam allowance will leave permanent holes in the fabric, so it’s much safer to use clips (even binder clips), tape, or quilting clips instead.

Use the right needle: Leather is a tough material and your sewing machine will need a quality needle that’s up to the task. We recommend Schmets leatherworking needles, as they offer the best quality at an affordable price. It’s also a good idea to start each project on a new needle, as leather blunts needles fairly quickly.

Choose polyester or nylon thread: Unlike cotton thread, which can be degraded by tannins in the leather over time and break down, nylon and polyester threads retain their strength and condition when used to sew leather goods.

Adapt your footplate: Many people struggle with sewing leather because it tends to stick to the throat plate or presser foot. If you don’t want to invest in a roller or Teflon foot, you can just place a small piece of Scotch tape over the bottom of your universal foot. This will help it glide over the leather more easily.

Experiment with new sewing projects and unique materials with your Empisal sewing machine 

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, over lockers, steam presses and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the EMPISAL ESS 50, you’ll be able to take on new projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

For more information on our sewing equipment and products, please contact us today.

Sewing project: Easy beach cover-up

Summer is in full swing, and that means long, hot days relaxing at the beach or around the pool with friends, family or just a good book! A swimsuit cover-up is a great accessory for this season, not only does it add fashionable flair, it also protects you from the sun and gives you something light and easy to wear when walking around. Here are some quick and easy sewing projects that the team at Empisal, manufacturers of the EMPISAL EES 50 were inspired by.

  • The kimono: This is an open front design that drapes over your shoulders and back. It’s very fashionable at the moment and lends itself to bright patterns and interesting trim, like mini pom-poms or lace.
  • The romper: This is a more technical project, but this shorts-and-top ensemble looks and feels great! It’s a cover-up that can be worn in in any casual setting, and – even better – it’s not going to blow up in the wind.
  • The beach towel poncho: A great cover-up for kids, this is an easy project for new or old beach towels. It provides kids with an easy way to dry off, and some sun protection.
  • The trapeze tank: If dresses are more your style, this relaxed-fitting summer cover-up is perfect for you. With wider straps and a light, breezy material, this dress is easy to throw on over any swimming costume.
  • The boho: Bring out your inner bohemian with a festival-style beach cover-up. It’s easy to make, but looks impressively complex when complete, with loose, open sleeves and a gathered neckline.
  • The tunic: Want an everyday beach cover-up that offers good sun protection? This tunic dress with ¾ sleeves is easy to make and lends itself to bright colours and patterns in light, draping materials.

Get your wardrobe ready for summer with Empisal’s affordable sewing machines 

At Empisal, we’ve been providing high quality, affordable sewing machines, over lockers, steam presses and ironing equipment to South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa for over 35 years.

Whether you’re learning to sew or a professional, Empisal has the right sewing machine for you. With the EMPISAL EES 50, you’ll be able to take on new projects with ease and get the most out of your sewing skills.

For more information on our sewing machines and products, please contact us today.