Best Sewing Machines for Heavy Fabrics

The heavy-duty sewing machines are capable of duties beyond regular sewing machines. They are also suitable for sewing heavy and tricky fabrics such as denim, leather, and so on. Apart from the functionality they are also sturdily built and offer better durability.

Tasks such as buttonholes, blind hems, quilting, monograms, and other similar ones are easily doable using heavy-duty sewing machines.

While a domestic sewing machine is capable of sewing 1500 SPM max a heavy-duty sewing machine sews at a 6000 SPM speed. Other facilities such as sturdy tables, self-lubrication, and simple designs are also found in these types of machines.

While heavy-duty sewing machines come at a high cost, few domestic sewing machines are capable of handling heavyweight fabric equally effectively and come at an affordable cost.

What Type of Needle Should You Use with Heavy Duty Sewing Machines?

Choosing needles based on the fabric you are sewing is important as all needles are not suitable for sewing all types of fabrics. If you choose large size needle for lightweight fabric it leaves holes and makes the stitch finish awkward.

Similarly, if you use thinner needles for thick fabrics, it bends and breaks when you try to sew. So, make sure you use the right needle for each fabric type.

  • 90/14 needle size for corduroys kind of medium-heavy fabrics
  • 100/16 needle size for duck cloth and denim kind of heavier fabrics
  • 110/18 needle size for tapestry or canvas kind of tricky fabrics
  • 120/19 needle size for boat canvas kind of heaviest fabrics

Top 7 Best Sewing Machines for Heavy Fabrics

Brother ST371HD

The Brother ST371HD is an easy-to-operate computerized sewing machine with brand reliability for high quality. It is user-friendly concerning the operation and well-known for its excellent performance.

Handling heavy fabrics is easy using this machine. The 37 built-in stitch patterns contain regular stitches, heirloom stitches, decorative stitches, one buttonhole stitch, and so on. As it can sew multiple fabric types and offers several stitch patterns it is versatile for working on many projects.

The speed of 800 SPM is impressive enough to sew your projects quickly in time. Also, the semi-automatic needle threader helps in keeping the tedious task of threading the needle at a bay saving you more time.

You get to select the stitches using the turn dial that is easy to operate even by a non-technical individual. The selected stitch is displayed on the digital screen to indicate if you have chosen the right one.

The top drop-in bobbin is easy to install and it does not jam while sewing. So, you can be sure that the sewing process goes on smoothly without any issues from the bobbin that are usually frequent in other machines, annoying, and hard to fix.

Free arm, various presser feet, LED bulb, affordability, and many more such features make this machine a top choice among aspiring seamstress.

Janome HD3000

The Janome HD3000 comes with a rigid aluminum body that gives high stability, makes it vibration-free, and ensures greater durability. It offers a top speed of 850 SPM that provides enough speed to complete your project.

This sewing machine offers 19 stitches that are essential for sewing various projects. It uses a 5-piece feed dog for gliding your fabric smoothly and steadily under the needle giving you a soothing experience while sewing. The stitch width is adjustable up to 6.5 mm.

You get to sew a zigzag, one-step buttonhole, zipper stitch, regular stitch, and similar other useful stitches that are not overwhelming with unnecessary settings. It comes with a hardcover, built-in needle threader, reverse stitch lever, and free arm facilities.

Its heavy-duty capability allows you to sew through heavyweight fabric or through multiple layers easily. The result is elegant without any unnecessary puckering or crowding of thread and gives you even stitches. It is quilting friendly for the same reasons mentioned above.

This versatile and steady sewing machine with enough useful features also comes with a high presser foot making it more user-friendly for thicker fabrics. Strong reinforcement stitches, easy-to-use functionality, automatic bobbin winder, and many such features are present in Janome HD3000.

Brother ST150HDH

The 37 stitch options present in Brother ST150HDH are plenty to experiment with and include all essential stitches. It comes with a maximum speed of 800 SPM for adding speed to your sewing efforts. The stitch width is adjustable up to 7mm.

You get a limited warranty of 25 years with this sewing machine. While Brother’s sewing machines are known for their high-quality build, this workhorse is no exception. Perfectly sewn buttonholes and consistent stitches with excellent finish are synonymous with the results it provides.

The high-density needles are capable of penetrating the thick fabrics easily without breaking. This sewing machine is appreciated by beginners for its ease of use and by professional users for its advanced functionalities.

Its jam-free bobbin technology gives you peace of mind as it saves you a lot of time and gets the stitches right every time. Even though the operation of this sewing machine is easy, if you do need assistance at any point, you can simply check the DVD instructions for help.

The features such as drop-in bobbin, automatic needle threader, free-motion sewing, value for the price, adjustable speed, 6 presser feet, LED light, LCD are all helpful in making your sewing more interesting.

Singer 4423

With an exceptional speed of 1100 stitches per minute, this mechanical sewing machine from singer aids in swiftly completing your projects. You get 23 built-in stitches to work with and stitch adjustability of up to 4 mm x 6 mm.

This heavy-duty sewing machine offers seamless functioning along with the promise of high durability. You can sew both regular and decorative stitches using this sewing machine. Singer 4423 offers versatile stitching options such as buttonholes and more.

If the craft is your hobby and you have several interests where sewing is involved, this is the right sewing machine to invest in. It supports wig making, home décor sewing, and crafting needs efficiently and achieves results with less effort.

It is easy to operate for beginners once they get to know the basics of a domestic sewing machine. Since it distributes 1 to 100 SPM, you can set your speed accurately to match your ability and achieve excellent coordination for a professional stitch finish.

The powerful motor helps in easy penetration of heavy fabrics and has better quilting capabilities as it can perform 60% more efficiently than its counterparts. Fabrics such as canvas and denim are also handled efficiently using this sewing machine.

Reverse stitch, automatic needle threading, drop feed, plenty of presser feet and accessories, and several other features make it desirable for dressmakers and hobbyists.

Juki TL-2010Q

The Juki TL-2010Q mechanical sewing machine comes with a limited 5 years warranty and reliable quality Juki. It is capable of 1500 SPM top speed for sewing at a commendable swiftness. Though you do not get any built-in stitches, you can adjust the stitch length up to 6 mm.

It is lightweight for easy portability and operates quietly allowing you to work peacefully. The aluminum build is highly durable and lasts long. Thicker fabrics such as canvas and denim are easy to sew as it is capable of heavy-duty performance.

Even the sewing bed and arm are made of aluminum die-casting making it a sturdy machine with long life. Be it a large quilt or intricate sewing project, you can work on it with ease and complete it in time using Juki TL-2010Q.

The industrial sub-tension system, variable speed control slider, LED indicator, extension table, etc., are all present in these sewing machines. The foot-operated trimming for both bobbin and top threads is handy while sewing.

From zig-zag to button sewing it got it covered in all domestic aspects of sewing and performs them in few minutes with ease. The possibility to balance the thread tension for achieving the right pull on the thread according to the fabric type is useful.

Free-motion sewing, automatic needle threading, adjustable presser foot height, and variable speed options are some of the mention-worthy features of Juki TL-2010Q.

Janome HD1000

The Janome HD1000 mechanical sewing machine is capable of sewing 840 stitches per minute. Its 14 built-in stitches offer a quick and effortless solution for many of your sewing needs. Also, the adjustability of stitch length up to 4 mm and width up to 5 mm add further versatility.

You get a 25-year limited warranty with this sewing machine. Not only the durability but also the sleek looks of this sewing machine are adored by most users. The industrial-grade material used in making this machine makes it sturdy and long-lasting.

Coming to its accessories you get bobbin, needles, 4 presser feet, hardcover, and so on. Since it has a front-load bobbin system, you will not need much effort to insert it into the place. Sewing buttonholes using the 4 step buttonhole provision is easier and neater than doing it manually.

Aluminum frames make it both strong and lightweight which enables you to carry it with you. The 3 piece feed dog is droppable for enabling free-motion sewing. Similarly, the removable free arm gives you further freedom to create complex garments.

The maximum speed of 1500 SPM is very swift and enables you to sew at very high speeds in case you are in a hurry to complete a project.

EverSewn Charlotte

The EverSewn Charlotte sewing machine is capable of sewing at an 850 SPM and has 70 stitch patterns in its built-in library. You can select these from the LED that displays the various stitches. Even though it is a computerized sewing machine you need not be tech-savvy to operate it.

It is easy enough to set up and get started even by novice users. The clear instruction manual is helpful if you get stuck with installation. The automatic needle threader is handy in making your task easier by threading your needle automatically without any effort.

You can adjust the stitch width up to 7 mm. The start and stop buttons allow you to sew without interruption and with even consistency. Its one-step buttonhole is handy for sewing buttonholes of excellent finish.

If you are into quilting and need free-motion sewing then it is possible using the drop feed feature. The drop-in bobbin with a clear cover plate is easy to manage while replacing and checking the available thread.

The needle up and down position and the thread trimmer features add more comfort to your sewing experience. The stitch reference library supports quicker stitch selection and also makes the process easier.

Fast and efficient, you can adjust the unit’s speed with a push of a slider. It’s easy to adjust the speed, and you can just use your hands to guide the material. The seven presser feet and the slider for speed control help do more.

Which is the best heavy-duty sewing machine for thick fabrics (canvas, leather, & denim)?

Though the 7 sewing machines are all capable of handling heavy-duty fabrics, Brother ST371HD, in particular, would be the best choice owing to its performance and value for the price. This highly durable Brother sewing machine is the favorite among users for many reasons.

It is easy-to-use, has apt functionalities useful for domestic sewing, and offers an industrial-grade finish. Every brand reviewed here has a specialty of its own but Brother’s has the combination of best features of them and this sewing machine will prove to be your handy sewing companion.

What tension should I use for thick and heavy fabric?

Thick and heavy fabrics sewing requires strong thread and apt needle that penetrates well and does not break while sewing. Also, thread tension plays a major role in defining the finish of a stitch. Thicket fabrics need higher tension so that the thread lifts to the middle layers of the fabric.

You can achieve great results with 4 or 5 settings for tension with heavy fabric. Making sure that the stitch length is also a little longer will allow the stitch to look neat.