Working with upholstery is quite an arduous task because most sewing machines are not capable of handling the heavy fabrics that are normally used. Even professionals under the best conditions will have disastrous results if they use a low-quality machine for stitching material. What you should do when you are constantly having issues with getting through to the fabric is change your old device. Although you rely on the best home embroidery machine that can help you decorate and make crafts or a regular sewing machine for minimal sewing, you will often need a more powerful unit that can handle thick fabrics and heavy-duty sewing.

The only machine able to sew through heavy fabrics and help you handle larger projects is an industrial one. Heavy-duty machines like those analyzed at work well with every type of fabric and do not move or stall. On the contrary, they allow you to sew denim and leather quite easily. The only problem is that industrial sewing machines come in a variety of styles, which means that some are limited to performing only some tasks. So, what should you look for in an upholstery sewing machine?

The power to sew heavy fabrics

The first thing you will have to consider is if the machine for stitching material has enough power to sew through heavy fabrics. Industrial sewing machines typically have the motor separated from the body, the motor being connected to the pulley at the side of the head. What you should pay attention to when going shopping is the pulley itself, meaning the wheel that supports the movement and the change of direction.

  • Tip: The smaller this wheel is, the more strength the machine will have to push the needle through. Despite the fact that larger pulleys deliver a faster sewing speed, they lose power while doing so. Thus, smaller is better with upholstery machines as you need strength, not speed.

Body construction

You should pay attention to the fact that industrial machines for stitching are generally made from heavy metal bodies. While this may not be an issue in a factory, the machine will not be as practical in a small home. Fortunately, there are modern machines that incorporate lighter materials and that are easier to transport. Make sure to look for models that have portable versions or those that are sold together with a carrying case.

  • Tip: If space allows you to place a bulkier, heavier machine with a metal body, do so. Their durability, in the long run, is unparalleled, so while they might be inconvenient as portability isn’t their strong point, at least these are guaranteed long-term investments.

Sewing bed

The bed refers to the main sewing area under the presser foot and needle, and it is made up of an extension table and a free arm. When you have to take up small sewing projects, you can remove the table and use the arm. The table, on the other hand, serves better for bigger projects like curtains, for example.

  • Tip: Seeing how you plan on using it for upholstery stitching and sewing, the size of the sewing bed doesn’t necessarily have to be large. On the contrary, you might actually be more mobile with a smaller surface.

The walking foot

If you are required to work with upholstery materials, then you will have to choose a sewing machine that has a walking foot. The reason why walking foot machines are so efficient is that they have a special mechanism that allows you to move the fabric with ease during the stitching. The walking foot of the industrial device in combination with the moving pressure will help you seize the fabric and move it along.

Q: Why can’t I just use the serrated attachment that regular machines feature?
A: The serrated attachment normally featured is not enough to move the heavy fabric, so a regular machine cannot serve you when handling upholstery.

Final thoughts

The point is that working with an industrial device has its benefits, especially if you have to handle heavy fabrics. To make your life easier take into consideration the above-mentioned aspects because they will be useful when searching for a flawless sewing machine. A clear example of a machine that has an amazing performance is the Janome HD3000. This heavy-duty device is perfect for all skill levels and allows even a beginner to complete ambitious projects, regardless of the fabric used.