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WenchLadyKate
02-02-2003, 10:46 AM
Okay, I picked up some great skins at the meadowlands flea market. The problem is the lambskin and the reindeerskin keep breaking the needles on my sewing machine. :augh: Any suggestions?

Thanks!
:sew:

Meg Hille
02-02-2003, 11:28 AM
I've had that same problem sewing fur myself! I ended up trying a #100/16 sized needle, which helped a lot. They still broke from time to time, but much less often than any other needles. I found that sewing VERY slowly helped too. I finally just hand turned the wheel instead of using the foot to run the machine. I don't know if it was just luck or what, but it worked for me.
Thankfully, after I finished that project, my mother in law lent me her leather sewing machine. She used to make shoes with it, so that thing could sew through four layers of heavy leather! I had a ball with it! I used scrap fox pieces to make little fur coats for my daughters. How cute!!

Ysobelle
02-02-2003, 01:09 PM
There are machine needles made specifically for leather-- I'd use those. They have wider, heavier, chiseled points, and the shaft is also heavier. They might be a bit hard to find, but they're worth it.

cyd
02-03-2003, 10:34 AM
There are machine needles made specifically for leather-- I'd use those. They have wider, heavier, chiseled points, and the shaft is also heavier. They might be a bit hard to find, but they're worth it.

Jo-Ann's generally has them. Schact needles, I think. I absolutely love them. The points are actually sharpened three-sided tips, so it cuts through leather without a problem. Just don't use it on regular fabric, because that same chisled tip that cuts through leather will fray your fabric at the seams.

VERY much worth it. I think it winds up being somewhere between 75 cents and a dollar fifty a needle (sale price versus normal), but you won't break them like you will a standard needle, and it'll go a LOT faster.

Wish I could get my old treadle singer working again (busted a belt), I've heard they work wonders with leather. Nothing like metal gears and parts to cut through leather like it's butter. Modern machines are all plastic and don't go through squat.

Cyd (or I could go up to my parents place and use my grandmother's machine... that one's a 1950's machine, still metal).

Bonnie
02-03-2003, 12:30 PM
oh yeah...leather needles.

I haven't had the need to sew on the machine with them, but I did do some hand stitching recently with leather needles....and let's just say that as easily as they cut through the leather...that's EXACTLY how easy they cut into your finger. No simple needle prick for me, no. I had a quarter inch puncture before I could even begin to blink. :cuss: Held my finger up to my eyes and stared, amazed, at the length of needle buried in my finger. Bled for hours and took almost a month to heal properly. :irked: :moon:

Leather needles should solve all your woes. blasted things. :)

lauradake
02-05-2003, 11:45 AM
*nod* I do some minor leatherwork (mostly for myself and friends--although I'm going to start putting some stuff up on Ebay soon, I think!) and I use the Schmetz leather needles. I still break them, when going through 2-3 layers of heavy suede, but the breaking point is much lower than on regular needles.

If you can't find them at your local JoAnn's, try whatever snobby sewing store is in your area. I hate those places (mainly because of the snobby factor... they're under the misguided impression that just because I'm 26, look younger than that, I don't know jack poopie about sewing... ARGH!) but you can often find the odd little supplies that you need there.

And if you're ever really serious about leatherwork--it's worth the investment in a used industrial machine. I got one for $300 by looking through the newspaper classifieds... I still need to get oil and needles for it, but when I ran a test scrap through it at the shop I bought it from, it went through the leather like it was BUTTAH. Awesome stuff. Also good for sewing heavy fabric, quilting, etc. A good all around machine to have. :)

-Laura


Jo-Ann's generally has them. Schact needles, I think. I absolutely love them. The points are actually sharpened three-sided tips, so it cuts through leather without a problem. Just don't use it on regular fabric, because that same chisled tip that cuts through leather will fray your fabric at the seams.

VERY much worth it. I think it winds up being somewhere between 75 cents and a dollar fifty a needle (sale price versus normal), but you won't break them like you will a standard needle, and it'll go a LOT faster.

Wish I could get my old treadle singer working again (busted a belt), I've heard they work wonders with leather. Nothing like metal gears and parts to cut through leather like it's butter. Modern machines are all plastic and don't go through squat.

Cyd (or I could go up to my parents place and use my grandmother's machine... that one's a 1950's machine, still metal [/quote]

cyd
02-05-2003, 12:28 PM
Schmetz, that's it! Sorry, Schacht is the company that makes looms... I'm so bad with names... ;)

I would soooooo love a leather machine... Got a friend who will sell me an old harness machine for $700... the kind that can go through an inch of thick saddle leather without blinking... Problem is, it's got a 3'x3' footprint, is about four feet tall, and would take up a significant chunk of my garage... And I'd have to arrange for transportation of it out of his garage. *sigh* While it would be GREAT for boots and such, it would also just not justify the costs... *sigh*

Besides, my husband will kill me if I get another sewing machine. It's one of the reasons my grandmother's is still at my parents house (it used to be in my apartment). I've currently got an elna (for delicate work, buttonholes, and embroidery), a Kenmore (for standard work), an old Singer serger (I love machines from back in the days when they made them out of steel!), and a REALLY old Singer treadle machine (with a busted belt). When my parents eventually decide to move, my grandmother's machine is coming down here (and it comes complete with the built-around sewing table). That's a grand total of five machines. He WILL kill me if I get another... *smirk*

Cyd (geez, got enough machines, do i?)


*nod* I do some minor leatherwork (mostly for myself and friends--although I'm going to start putting some stuff up on Ebay soon, I think!) and I use the Schmetz leather needles. I still break them, when going through 2-3 layers of heavy suede, but the breaking point is much lower than on regular needles.

If you can't find them at your local JoAnn's, try whatever snobby sewing store is in your area. I hate those places (mainly because of the snobby factor... they're under the misguided impression that just because I'm 26, look younger than that, I don't know jack poopie about sewing... ARGH!) but you can often find the odd little supplies that you need there.

And if you're ever really serious about leatherwork--it's worth the investment in a used industrial machine. I got one for $300 by looking through the newspaper classifieds... I still need to get oil and needles for it, but when I ran a test scrap through it at the shop I bought it from, it went through the leather like it was BUTTAH. Awesome stuff. Also good for sewing heavy fabric, quilting, etc. A good all around machine to have. :)

-Laura


Jo-Ann's generally has them. Schact needles, I think. I absolutely love them. The points are actually sharpened three-sided tips, so it cuts through leather without a problem. Just don't use it on regular fabric, because that same chisled tip that cuts through leather will fray your fabric at the seams.

VERY much worth it. I think it winds up being somewhere between 75 cents and a dollar fifty a needle (sale price versus normal), but you won't break them like you will a standard needle, and it'll go a LOT faster.

Wish I could get my old treadle singer working again (busted a belt), I've heard they work wonders with leather. Nothing like metal gears and parts to cut through leather like it's butter. Modern machines are all plastic and don't go through squat.

Cyd (or I could go up to my parents place and use my grandmother's machine... that one's a 1950's machine, still metal

WenchLadyKate
02-06-2003, 10:00 PM
Thanks! I bought a chisel tipped leather needle for the machine. Took me 4 stores to find it but I finally found one at the Wal-Mart up near Sterling Forest (funny how my car made the left-hand turn to go to faire all on its own). Worked like a dream, almost as easy as sewing plain ol' broadcloth! And, Bonnie, I feel your pain. Those things are SHARP! Geez! Pricked myself with it putting it into the machine and could only watch and weep while the bleeding went on and on longer than the movie "Titanic".

Thank you all for your suggestions, I think I used a little of all of them. My projects came out so well that I think I'll look into a leather machine. Might be better than squishing all the fur under the foot.

So, this weekend, I'll be back off to the Meadowlands Flea Market to find more fur being that I've decided I need a fur cloak big enough for two. :-)

Thanks again!