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Tips for Sewing Thick Fabrics

It’s always a good time to think ahead to the colder months and get ready for sewing those thick fabrics for winter — like denim, leather, linen, and canvas. If you keep some important tips in mind, you won’t have to struggle with those heavy fabrics.

Tips and Tricks for Sewing Heavy Fabrics

We’re here to offer a few of our best tricks to make sewing heavy fabrics easier.

Pay Attention to Pressure Foot Pressure

The presser foot pressure-adjustment feature is what will tell your machine to adjust accordingly for thicker fabrics. The thicker layers of fabric increase the pressure on the foot to a point where it will struggle to feed the fabric over the dogs.

It may sound strange, but counteract this by increasing the stitch length and lightening up on the presser foot pressure. This often fixes the issue by freeing the feed dogs.

Spring for Premium Parts

The only way you’ll really be able to handle the heaviest heavyweights is to make sure your sewing machine has premium components. This includes a needle bar that’s thicker, thicker upper and lower shafts, and ball-bearing seals.

You also need a machine with a larger drive motor and a hefty zig-zag stepper motor. The easiest way to get all of these features is to purchase a heavy-duty sewing machine, such as the Singer Heavy Duty 4452 or the Juki TL-2000Qi.

Go for the Right Needles

There must be a certain relationship between the hook and your needle for the machine to make a stitch. Without fabric, a needle takes a path that is straight down to the hook. When a fabric is introduced, the needle’s path is altered.

This is especially true when it comes to thick fabric. When the path is altered, the clearance and timing of the machine are affected. If the clearance and the timing are off, the result is skipped stitches and poor stitch quality.

How can you fix this?

The only way that your sewing machine can handle these strong, sturdy fabrics is by having a needle that is stronger. Any needle that is under size 12 shouldn’t be used on thick fabric.

At the same time, be careful not to use a needle that is too thick; begin by trying a 12 instead of jumping right to a 16 or 18.

Sewing Machine Tips from GoldStar Tool

GoldStar Tool is your number one resource for crafting, from sewing machines to accessories to craft supplies and plenty of tips, tricks, and solutions. Have questions? Contact us!