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What thread is best for leather?

When you’re working with leather, it’s important to use a thread that is tough enough to handle the material’s thickness and strength. The best thread for leather is a heavy-duty, durable, and strong thread that won’t easily break or fray.

best thread for sewing leather
best thread for sewing leather

Top four types of best sewing thread for sewing leather

Here are the most commonly used types of threads for sewing leather:

  • Bonded Nylon Thread: This is the most popular thread for leather sewing. Bonded nylon thread is very strong and durable and can withstand the abrasion that comes with sewing thick leather. Besides, It comes in a range of colors, so you can easily find a match for your leather project.
  • Polyester Thread: Polyester provides an extra-strong and durable option for sewing leather. A high-tenacity polyester thread with a good denier count is even stronger than nylon. It has excellent UV resistance and is less prone to discoloration or fading, making it suitable for outdoor leather items.
  • Waxed Thread: Waxed thread is a good choice for hand-sewn leather items, such as wallets or bags. It’s already coated with wax, making it resistant to moisture and tough to snag or break.
  • Braided Thread: If you need to hand-sew thick leather, the braided thread can help you finish the job with a bit more ease. Instead of a single strand, the braided thread is composed of multiple fibers braided together, providing extra strength and flexibility.

How to choose: The best sewing thread for leather depends mostly on the application, technique, and desired seam appearance because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. For machine stitching, bonded nylon or polyester threads are ideal, while for hand-stitching, you might prefer waxed or braided threads depending on your skills and needs.

Is nylon or polyester thread better for leather?

Both nylon and polyester threads are suitable for sewing leather, but the choice ultimately depends on the specific leather project you’re working on.

  • Nylon thread is known for its strength, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion. It has a bit of stretch to it, which can help the thread absorb the stress and strain that comes with sewn leather pieces that move or flex. Nylon thread is often used for sewing thicker leather items like belts, jackets, or bags with tight stitching.
  • Polyester thread, on the other hand, is a bit stronger than nylon and is more resistant to UV rays and chemicals. It also holds its color better when exposed to sunlight or other environmental factors. It may not have quite as much stretch as nylon, but if it’s a high-denier thread, it will offer terrific strength. A polyester sewing thread is ideal for more challenging leather-to-leather applications, such as sewing leather to leather, but can also work well for hand-stitching soft leather items like gloves or wallets.

So, when it comes to choosing between nylon and polyester, it primarily depends on your project and its requirements. Both nylon and polyester threads have their own advantages and disadvantages, but either can make for a strong and reliable seam when used right in combination with the right needle size, tension settings, and sewing techniques for sewing leather.

What size thread is for sewing leather on a machine?

When sewing leather on a machine, the thread size you choose will depend on several factors, including the thickness of the leather, your sewing machine, and the kind of stitches you want to create. A general rule of thumb is to choose a thread with a thickness that is no more than 1/3 the thickness of the leather you’re working with. Here are some common thread sizes for sewing leather with a machine:

  1. Size 69: This is the most commonly used thread size for sewing leather on a machine. It’s a mid-weight thread that is strong enough to work with most light- to medium-weight leathers.
  2. Size 92: This thicker thread is recommended for heavier leathers and sewing machines that can handle larger needles.
  3. Size 138: This heavyweight thread is ideal for sewing thicker leather items like holsters, bags, or belts.
  4. Size 207: This is an extra heavy-duty thread that is meant for industrial-grade leather sewing projects such as horse saddles, heavy-duty boots, or high-end bags.

Note that it’s essential to select a needle that’s compatible with the thread size and leather weight you’re working on. The wrong needle can easily break or fray the thread, cause unsightly seams, or even damage the machine.

By knowing which high strength sewing thread size to use for each leather project, you can ensure that your finished product looks neat, strong, and lasts for years. It’s also important to keep in mind the correct stitch length and tension when working with leather as these factors can influence the quality of your seams.