Industrial Sewing Machines for Automotive Upholstery

Industrial Sewing Machines for Automotive Upholstery

Industrial Sewing Machines for Automotive Upholstery- there one type of machine I would recommend getting. That would be a walking foot sewing machine. I would recommend getting an full industrial sewing machine, however there are a few portable walking foot sewing machines I would recommend. Every industrial machine on here will last a very long time if properly maintained, and oiled. They are mostly built for factories, so they will run forever all day long! The older machines can also be just as good as a brand new one. I have provided links to the manufactures websites. However if you are looking for a machine I recommend trying to find a used one. they still might be expensive, but for the quality and long lasting machine, they are totally worth it. Here is what I recommend for industrial sewing machines for automotive upholstery.

The difference between a Walking Foot Industrial Machine and a Non-Walking Foot Industrial Machine –

Walking Foot Sewing Machine – These machines are perfect for thick fabric, vinyl, leather, and most medium to heavy fabrics. They use the Feed Dogs, and the Foot to pull the material through the machine, or the pull the fabric from the top and bottom. The presser foot appears to walk when it pulls the fabric through, using a 2 part foot. A good machine new can cost around $1, 200 New, or Used about $600 – $800.

Non-Walking Foot Sewing Machine – These machines are more typical for sewing fabrics, and clothes in factories. They have the Feed Dogs on the bottom, and just a one part presser foot. They pull the fabric from just the bottom, and you rely on the pressure from the foot to keep the top and bottom part of the material straight. Usually with a machine like this you will have to use pins in fabrics if they slip. They will do a good job for upholstery as well, and can still sew through thick material. these machines are more common, and cost less since they are a little more simple. New these machines can go for a bout $800, and Used can go from $300 – $600. (* I personally started with a Non-Walking foot machine, and it did what I needed to.)

Recommended Industrial Walking Foot Sewing Machines –
(*These are just my recommendations, and they are with sewing machines I have used. There are a lot of other sewing machine out there that work very well too.)

Consew 205RB-5 – A great smooth operating machine that sews straight, and works very well. I prefer this machine myself, and would be my first recommendation. Although I am sure it depends on who you talk to is also what machine they like to use as well. Here is a link to the Consew website –

Jiki DU1181 – Just like the Consew, it’s great for sewing, makes a very nice stitch, and will last a very long time. They have a nice walking foot, and will pull the material very nicely. Here is a link to visit the Jiki site –

Recommended Portable Walking Foot Sewing Machine –
Sailright LS-1
– This is a good basic machine. Again it is a portable model that means the motor will not be as powerful, but it still will sew through quite a bit of material. It’ s a good machine to get started in.

Here is a link to their website to purchase it from –

Sewing Thread – Sewing thread is a major part of making a good automotive upholstery job last. I typically use thread a #69 or #92 thread size. You also want to use a Bonded Nylon Thread, it is thick and strong and will last a long time, hold up to mildew and mold well. However they have a hard time lasting in direct sun light. If you are doing some upholstery that will be out in the sun quite a bit, I would use a Bonded Polyester Thread. It has all the same qualities of the bonded Nylon, but will hold up in direct sunlight much longer. I recommend buying thread online from this website. They have a huge selection and really know what types of thread works best for your application!

Make Sure Your Machine Has Reverse! – You want to make sure if you are looking for a sewing machine. When you start sewing you want to hit the reverse for a few stitch strokes, the sew over it again. This is called a lock stitch. This forward/reverse/forward motion locks the stitch together to keep it from unraveling. You can do it with an older machine that has no reverse, you just have to lift the material out again, and stitch over it. However having a reverse on your machine is going to be so much easier for you when sewing. I think it is a must on a sewing machine you purchase!

Needle Size – Needle size for your industrial machine can be quite large. Typically you want to use anywhere between an 18 -22 needle size depending on the thread thickness. You can find some good deals on Ebay for needles. Organ Brand needles are some very good quality and you can get quite a few for cheep.

Sewing Machine Oil – Sewing machine oil is vital to the health of your machine. You want to make sure you fill your machine with the correct type of oil! I would recommend buying machine oil on Amazon. You can find some good deals on oil from Little dropper bottles to Gallon Sizes. Some people on the internet will say to fill your machine with any type of light colored oil, however if it gets on your clothes, or the fabric, it’s done. Sewing Machine oil is better because it will wash out of fabric. If your machine has an oil pan I recommend getting the oil in Gallon size. Even with shipping it will save you money! Click her to get the sewing Machine oil by the Gallon!

Additional Items you will need –


Here is a picture of my newest find. A Brother Industrial sewing machineBrother Industrial Sewing Machine

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