Have you been sewing for a long time and want to give upholstery projects a try now? Whether you want to freshen up a worn furniture piece, create a set of curtains, or restore something precious, upholstery projects are a lot of fun. Not only that but they can also help you save money. However, upholstery projects aren’t anything like simple sewing work as they involve thicker fabrics than those used for basic sewing projects. This is why regular sewing machines tend to struggle with upholstery work.
Standard sewing machines don’t handle thicker fabrics too well, which is why you should invest in a heavy duty sewing machine for upholstery work. When you have a good quality heavy duty sewing machine, you will be able to take on curtains, sofas, and even car seats.
Since there are plenty of upholstery sewing machines available in the market, you might struggle to find the right one. To help you out, we have compiled a list of best upholstery sewing machines. Before we discuss the features and capabilities of the best upholstery sewing machines, let us look at a few things you should look for in an upholstery machine.
Things to Look for in an Upholstery Sewing Machine
A powerful motor is a must when you are taking on upholstery projects. Most basic sewing machines can handle lighter upholstery fabrics, but they are usually not able to get through heavier fabrics or multiple layers. When you use these machines for sewing through heavier fabrics or multiple layers, you risk breaking the needle and damaging your machine.
Heavy duty sewing machines have a higher motor strength and this helps you get through the toughest of fabrics. Moreover, these sewing machines aren’t significantly affected by overheating problems which comes handy when you are sewing for long periods without taking a break.
Robustness and Stability
When you are looking for a sewing machine to carry out upholstery work, avoid any machine described as portable and lightweight. These machines usually have plastic components and they tend to vibrate a lot when you are sewing. If a sewing machine moves while you are dealing with thicker fabrics, you might break the needle or ruin the fabric.
High Stitch Quality
You would want your finished upholstery projects to look great. Therefore, the high stitch quality is an important factor to consider when you are shopping for an upholstery sewing machine.
One of the most important things to consider when buying an upholstery sewing machine is speed control. Since you will likely be using the machine for sewing both heavier fabrics and lighter fabrics, you should get a machine that gives you the option of changing the speed. With an adjustable speed control feature, you can set the right speed for the type of material you are sewing. Several fabrics that are too thick or delicate usually require a slow sewing speed while you can increase the speed when sewing lighter fabrics like cotton or wool.
Accessories you’ll need will vary depending on the upholstery projects you are taking on. However, two presser feet that are mostly used for upholstery include the walking foot and the cording foot.
When you are working with multiple layers, you may struggle to feed the fabric through your sewing machine. A walking foot will make this process smoother for you.
Many upholstery projects involve welting i.e. decorative cord that is covered in fabric. In order to make your own cord, you’ll need a high-quality cording foot.
The Best Upholstery Sewing Machines
1. Juki TL-2000Qi
The Juki TL-2000Qi is a powerhouse that packs tons of impressive features. The automatic thread trimming feature of this sewing machine allows you to trip the top and bobbin thread with ease. The thread tension adjustment system of the Juki TL-2000Qi is great and it allows you to set the best tension for both the tread and fabric. The microprocessor in the sewing machine looks after the machine’s speed, allowing you to easily adjust the Juki TL-2000Qi’s speed according to the type of fabric you are sewing.
The Juki TL-2000Qi also has a much better needle control than basic sewing machine which gives you more precision when you are quilting. The machine comes with an automatic needle threader which removes the hassle of threading the needle manually. The Juki TL-2000Qi contains LED lights that light up the sewing area. We believe that the only drawback of this upholstery sewing machine is that it is expensive. You should add the Juki TL-2000Qi to your shortlist only if you can afford to shell out over $500 for a sewing machine.
2. Singer 4423
Singer is one of the most reputable brands in the world of sewing. The 4423 model from Singer is a real beast and will help you carry out all kinds of upholstery work. This machine can sew through a variety of fabrics including thicker fabrics and through multiple layers. It can easily sew through denim, jute, leather, and several layers of cotton without any problem.
The strength and power of the Singer 4423 make it one of the most popular sewing machines for upholstery projects. The speed of this sewing machine is 1,100 stitches per minute which is incredible. Even at such a high speed, the Singer 4223 doesn’t skip stitches. It can sew in straight line constantly to ensure that you get a professional look and the strengthened stitches ensure that the needle goes through the fabric every time.
The adjustable presser foot pressure allows you to sew lightweight sheers too. Moreover, the Singer 4423 comes with 23 built-in stitches including a one-step buttonhole. The top drop-in bobbin of this heavy duty sewing machine is easy to thread and see, allowing you to thread the bobbin before you run out of thread.
3. Janome HD1000
Janome HD1000 has a powerful motor which allows you to undertake all kinds of upholstery projects. It provides all the basic features that you would need for upholstery work. The HD1000 isn’t as fancy as some other sewing machines in this market, but it makes up for that by being reliable, sturdy, and powerful. It can sew through jeans, leather, and other thick fabrics.
The Janome HD1000 comes with an automated 4-step buttonhole which is easy to use. Moreover, it has 11 stitches including decorative stitches, stretch stitches, and utility stitches. Several accessories come with the machine including but not limited to bobbins, seam ripper, screwdrivers, and zipper foot. The Janome HD1000 also has an automatic needle threader that removes the hassle of manually inserting the thread through the eye of the needle. Moreover, the front load bobbin system of the machine makes it easy to use.
4. Janome HD3000
The Janome HD3000 is one of the most powerful sewing machines out there. It comes with 18 types of stitches to choose from and you can also adjust the width and length of those stitches using sliders. The Janome HD3000 is easy to use and you’ll get the hang of it in a few days. This mechanical sewing machine makes repairing and maintaining more durable and easier. Unlike programmable sewing machines which must be repaired by a professional, the HD3000 can be repaired by anyone who understands the basic functionality of a sewing machine.
The Janome HD3000 can handle tough fabrics like leather and upholstery. It can also sew through multiple layers. Not only that, but the sewing machine is delicate enough to deal with softer fabric such as wool, cotton, and linen. The Janome HD3000 isn’t as heavy as other upholstery sewing machine, which makes it easier to carry around. While this machine can handle thicker fabrics, you shouldn’t abruptly change the thickness while you are sewing as this can cause problems. Overall, the Janome HD3000 is a good heavy duty sewing machine that will allow you to take on upholstery projects with ease.
5. Singer 4452
The 4452 from Singer is a mechanical sewing machine and it is very easy to use since it doesn’t have many functions. It comes with 32 built-in stitches including 6 basic stitches, 18 decorative stitches, 7 stretched stitches, and one-step buttonhole. The Singer 4452 has a dial that allows you to control the width of a stitch. The maximum stitch width is 6mm. Crafters will find the needle threader in this model to be of great convenience. The motor of the Singer 4452 is 60 percent stronger than other motors allowing you to sew at a maximum speed of 1,100 stitches per minutes. The high piercing power of this heavy duty Singer sewing machine allows you to sew through thicker fabrics and multiple layers of fabrics.
Since the Singer 4452 is inexpensive, it is a good choice for people who want to do basic upholstery work. While this machine is a great choice for beginners, it lacks automatic features. So you should consider buying it only if you intend to carry out basic upholstery work.
6. Juki DNU-1541
The Juki DNU-1541 is equipped with a walking foot to make upholstery sewing easier for you. This powerful machine can sew through several layers of fabric without much effort. Moreover, it is extremely responsive and comes with high-end features. Some of them include a needle bar stroke, higher presser foot lift, and double-tension mechanism. The Juki DNU-1541 can easily sew through thick fabrics like denim, upholstery, and leather so you should consider adding it to your shortlist. However, note that this is an industrial machine so it is extremely expensive.
7. Singer Heavy Duty 4411
Singer 4411 is one of the highest rated heavy duty sewing machines available on Amazon. In terms of consistency, strength, and usability, there aren’t many machines that come close to the 4411. The Singer 4411 is easy to use and highly efficient. It’s constructed with a metal body frame and specifically designed to handle heavy-duty projects like upholstery work. Fabrics are fed smoothly thanks to the stainless steel bed plate of the Singer 4411.
The dial on the machine allows you to select the type of stitch you want to use and adjust its length and width. You can also adjust the needle tension and position using the dial. There is another small dial under the machine’s balance wheel that you can use to adjust the buttonhole stitches.
The Singer 4411 comes with 11 built-in stitches out of which four are decorative, six are utility stitches, and 4 are one-step automated buttonholes. It also gives you the ability to reverse stitch allowing you to reduce errors. The needle of the sewing machine can be adjusted to three different positions. The Singer 4411 can sew at the speed of 1,100 stitches per minutes and it doesn’t vibrate a lot even at higher speeds, allowing you to sew without missing stitches. The top-load bobbin is another impressive feature of this sewing machine.
Our Final Thoughts
We have discussed some of the best upholstery sewing machines currently available in the market. Now take your time to see the features and capabilities of each machine before you make the purchase. Since upholstery sewing machines tend to be more expensive than basic sewing machines, you don’t want to purchase a machine that isn’t right for you. When making the decision to buy the best upholstery sewing machine, consider the power, the features available in the machine, the weight of the machine, the speed control option, and the cost of the machine.
We hope you found our buyers guide helpful in selecting the best upholstery sewing machine for you.