6 Best Sewing Machines for Thick Fabric [Review and Compare]

Sewing thick or heavy fabric and need a sewing machine that can handle it? These are the best sewing machines for thick fabric. These heavy duty sewing machines are the best sewing machines for denim and jeans, sewing outdoor canvas, and marine sewing projects. These heavy duty sewing machines can sew through thick fabric like denim, canvas, leather, vinyl, and fake fur easily. Keep reading and learn all about the best sewing machines for heavy fabric.

Sewing thick fabric? Find the Best sewing machines for thick fabric. Read this before you buy and learn about the best sewing machines for heavy fabric. Sewing denim, sewing canvas, and sewing leather made easy. #AD #Sewing #SewingMachine

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Table of contents



Best Sewing Machines for Thick Fabric

Best All Around

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SINGER Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine
  • 32 built-in stitches
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Four presser feet
  • All metal interior
  • 60% stronger motor
  • 25 year limited warranty

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Best Competitor

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Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • 800 stitches per minute
  • Six presser feet
  • Metal frame
  • 25 year limited warranty

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Best for High End Brands

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Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine
  • 18 built-in stitches
  • 860 stitches per minute
  • Five presser feet
  • Aluminum frame
  • Confirm warranty with seller

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1. Best All Around: Singer Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine

SINGER Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine, 18 lbs, Gray, best heavy duty sewing machine, best sewing machine for thick fabric, best sewing machine for denim, best sewing machine for jeans, best sewing machine for fur, best sewing machine heavy fabrics, best sewing machine for outdoor gear
Pictured here – Singer Heavy Duty 4432 Sewing Machine

The Singer 4432 is one of Singer’s entries into the heavy duty sewing machine market. This machine has over 3,000 user ratings with a super high approval score. Previous versions of this machine have had even better ratings and reviews – but not as many built-in stitches. You can view our comparison of the Singer 4423 vs 4432 here. This sewing machine really is a “true workhorse”. It has an all metal interior frame for added durability. This is combined with a 60% stronger motor for more piercing power and greater sewing speeds of up to 1,100 stitches per minute. This combines to form a machine that can handle sewing thick fabrics and sewing denim with ease. This is the best sewing machine for denim and thick fabrics. The Singer 4432 is also one of the best sewing machines for outdoor gear and fur.

Normally, recommendations for the best sewing machine for heavy fabrics has the Singer 4423 at the top of the list. With it’s ratings and reviews, it’s easy to see why. We are recommending the singer 4432 as the best all around heavy duty sewing machine because of it’s 11 additional built-in stitches. The Singer 4432 sewing machine is the upgraded version of the Singer 4432. It has the same metal frame, the same 60% stronger motor, and the same chassis. It is even competitively priced to the Singer 4423, often times significantly cheaper. With it’s 11 additional built-in stitches, the Singer 4432 is a better value than the Singer 4423. Read more for a full comparison of the Singer 4432 vs 4432.

The Singer 4432 heavy duty sewing machine comes with 32 different built-in stitches. These include basic sewing stiches, stretch stitches, and decorative stitches. This Singer sewing machine can also do a 1-step buttonhole. This is a mechanical sewing machine. On this machine, you can control the stitch length, stitch width, stitch tension, presser foot pressure, the feed dog height, and the needle position. All of these settings make for a very versatile machine. You can see why we think it’s the best sewing machine for jeans and sewing thick fabrics. This machine also has a drop-in top bobbin and an automatic bobbin winding system. You can do free arm sewing with this sewing machine by removing the accessory storage compartment. Free arm sewing allows you to wrap your project around the sewing area, perfect for hemming jeans and sewing small projects.

This sewing machine comes with four different presser feet: an all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole sewing foot, and button sewing foot. This machine also comes with a soft sided dust cover. It weighs 17.42 lbs and is 15.2 x 12 x 6.2 inches. This machine comes with Singer’s 25 year limited warranty.

For more details, check out our Singer 4432 review.

Product Features:

  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • 60% stronger motor
  • 32 built-in stitches
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Drop-in top bobbin
  • Can do free arm sewing
  • Four sewing feet: all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Sewing light
  • Soft dust cover included
  • 25 year limited warranty

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2. Best Competitor: Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 37 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Option, 6 Included Feet, brother sewing machine heavy duty
Pictured here – Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

The Brother ST317HD sewing machine is Brother’s entry to the heavy duty sewing machine market. This machine is in direct competition with the Singer 4432 above. It has a super high user approval rating, but not nearly as many reviews. This Brother sewing machine has a metal interior frame. This Brother heavy duty sewing machine sews at 800 stitches per minute. This is a good sewing machine for sewing denim, canvas, leather and other thick materials.

The Brother ST317HD comes with 37 built-in stitches. These stitches include basic, stretch, and decorative stitches. This Brother sewing machine can also do a 1-step auto-size buttonhole. With this mechanical sewing machine you can adjust the stitch length, width and thread tension. You can also adjust the feed teeth height and the needle position. It has a drop-in top bobbin for easy bottom thread loading and an automatic bobbin winding system. With this sewing machine you can do free arm sewing, great for hemming pants, sewing sleeve cuffs, finishing collars, or sewing kids clothes.

This Brother sewing machine comes with six different sewing feet: a blind stitch foot, spring action zigzag foot, nonstick foot (prefect for sewing leather and sewing vinyl), a buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, and a zipper foot. This machine weights 14.52 lbs and is 7.87 x 16.1 x 12.21 inches. It comes with Brother’s 25 year limited warranty.

Product Features:

  • Metal frame
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threading
  • Drop in top bobbin
  • Can do free arm sewing
  • Six sewing feet: spring action zigzag foot, nonstick foot, blind stitch foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot
  • 800 stitches per minute
  • Sewing light
  • 25 year limited warranty

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3. Best for High End Brands: Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

Janome HD3000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 18 Built-in Stitches + Hard Case, best janome heavy duty sewing machine, sewing machine for upholstery, heavy fabric sewing machine
Pictured here – Janome HD3000 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

The HD3000 is Janome’s heavy duty machine. This sewing machine has tons of user reviews and a super high approval rating. Janome is also one of the high end brands for sewing machines. This machine has an aluminum body and gears for added durability. It is capable of sewing at 860 stitches per minute. This is a great sewing machine for sewing thick and sewing heavy fabrics.

The Janome HD3000 comes with 18 different built in stitches. These stitches include basic, decorative, and stretch stitches. There is also a 1-step buttonhole stitch on this sewing machine. You can easily adjust both the stitch length and width with the sliders on the front of the machine. You can also adjust the thread tension, needle position, and the feed teeth height with this sewing machine. This machine comes with a side loading bobbin, and an automatic bobbin winding system hidden in the top cover. This machine is capable of doing free arm sewing, making hemming pants, setting in sleeves, and sewing kids clothes much easier.

This heavy duty Janome sewing machine comes with a hard carrying case. It also comes with five different presser feet: a zigzag foot, rolled hem foot, overedge foot, blind hem foot, and a buttonhole foot. This machine weighs 18.7 lbs and is 16 x 11.3 x 7.2 inches. This is one of the heaviest heavy duty sewing machines that we reviewed here. This machine comes with a warranty if it is sold by an authorized dealer, so make sure to verify with Janome that the seller is licensed to sell their machines.

Product Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 18 built-in stitches
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Built-in needle threading
  • Side load bobbin
  • Can do free arm sewing
  • Five sewing feet included: Zigzag foot, blind hem foot, rolled hem foot, buttonhole foot, overedge foot
  • 860 stitches per minute
  • Sewing light
  • Hard cover included
  • Confirm warranty with seller

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4. Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches

Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine with 14 Built-In Stitches, sewing machine heavy duty, heavy material sewing machine
Pictured here – Janome HD1000 Heavy-Duty Sewing Machine

The Janome HD1000 is another great heavy duty sewing machine by Janome. This is another heavy duty mechanical sewing machine. This machine is made from cast aluminum for extra durability. It also has a heavy duty motor, at 0.75 AMP. This is comparable to the motor in the Singer 4432 at 0.77 AMP. It sews at a quick 1,000 stitches per minute. This machine does a great job sewing thick materials and sewing heavy materials like demin, fleece, canvas, leather, and more. The Janome HD1000 comes in both a black and a white version.

The Janome HD1000 comes with 14 different built in stitches. This includes a four step buttonhole stitch. This machine is another heavy duty mechanical sewing machine. It has dials to control the different settings on the sewing machine. You can change the stitch selection, stitch length, stitch width, and thread tension. You can also change the needle position, presser foot pressure, and the feed teeth height with this sewing machine. This heavy duty Janome sewing machine is another side load bobbin sewing machine. It also has the capability to automatically wind a bobbin. This Janome machine can do free arm sewing if you remove the accessory storage container. This allows you to sew small projects like kids clothes or hem pants easily.

This heavy duty Janome HD1000 comes with a hard carrying case. It comes with three different presser feet: a hemmer foot, buttonhole foot, and a zipper foot. This machine weighs in at 16.8 lbs, and is 15.6 x 12.4 x 6.3 inches. If this machine is sold by an authorized dealer, it is covered by Janome’s warranty. Make sure to confirm with the seller or with Janome that you are purchasing from an authorized seller.

Product Features:

  • Made of cast aluminum
  • 14 built-In stitches
  • Four step buttonhole
  • Built-in needle threading
  • .75 AMP motor
  • Can do free arm sewing
  • Three feet included: Hemmer foot, buttonhole foot, and zipper foot
  • 1,000 stitches per minute
  • Sewing light
  • Hard cover included
  • Confirm warranty with seller

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5. Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 50 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, 9 Included Feet

Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine, Strong & Tough, 50 Built-in Stitches, LCD Display, 9 Included Feet, sewing machines upholstery
Pictured here – Brother ST150HDH Sewing Machine

The Brother ST150HDH sewing machine is a heavy duty computerized sewing machine. This machine has a metal interior frame. It sews at 850 stitches per minute. This heavy duty sewing machine has a box style feed dog setup. This means that the fabric feed is more smooth than other, oval type feed systems.

This Brother ST150HDH heavy duty sewing machine comes with an amazing 50 built-in stitches. These include basic stitches, stretch stitches, and decorative stitches. There are also five different auto-size buttonholes programmed into this machine. This is a computerized sewing machine. Unlike mechanical sewing machines, with a computerized sewing machine you use buttons on the machine to interact with the computer. You can change the stitch selection, stitch length, and stitch width via the LCD screen and buttons. Tension on this sewing machine is controlled by the dial on top of the machine. Lowering the feed dog teeth is controlled with a lever on the back of the machine. This machine can do free arm sewing when you remove the accessory container.

The heavy duty Brother ST150HDH weights 18.7 lbs. This machine is 22.6 x 15.7 x 11.1 inches. It comes with nine different sewing feet: a buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, spring action zigzag foot, walking foot, 1/4″ piecing foot, zipper foot, monogramming foot, and overcasting foot. This machine comes with Brother’s 25 year limited warranty.

Product Features:

  • Metal interior frame
  • 50 built-in stitches
  • Five auto-size buttonholes
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Drop in top bobbin
  • Can do free arm sewing
  • Nine sewing feet: walking foot, 1/4″ piecing foot, buttonhole foot, zipper foot, spring action zigzag foot, monogramming foot, overcasting foot, button sewing foot and blind stitch foot
  • 850 stitches per minute
  • LCD Screen for viewing settings
  • Sewing light
  • 25 year limited warranty

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6. Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Singer Scholastic Heavy Duty Sewing Machine w/23 Stitch Patterns 5523
Pictured here – Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

Normally in reviews for heavy duty sewing machines, you find the Singer 4423 right at the top of the list. With the amazing reviews and ratings of the Singer 4423, it is easy to see why it ranks so highly. Because of this high rating, often the Singer 4423 is overpriced for the value that you get. The Singer 4432 is the upgraded version of the Singer 4423. On it’s own merit, the Singer 4432 is an amazing sewing machine with thousands of reviews and a high approval rating. The Singer 4432 has the same 60% stronger motor, all metal frame, and the same chassis. The Singer 4432 comes with 11 more built-in stitches than the Singer 4423. All of this and the Singer 4432 is often significantly cheaper than the Singer 4423. It’s the added 11 stitches and the improved value of the Singer 4432 that has it ranking at the top of our reviews, and the Singer 4423 at the bottom.

The Singer 4423 heavy duty sewing machine is one of the best rated and reviewed heavy duty sewing machines available for home use. This heavy duty sewing machine has the same heavy interior metal frame and 60% stronger motor that the Singer 4432 has. This heavy duty Singer sewing machine has 23 different built-in stitches. The heavy duty Singer 4423 sewing machine has a one-step buttonhole stitch too.

This heavy duty mechanical sewing machine comes with 23 different built in stitches. This is 11 fewer than the Singer 4432 (and why we recommend the Singer 4432 as the best heavy duty sewing machine). The built-in stitches include basic stitches like straight stitch and zigzag stitch, stretch stitches, and decorative stitches. This heavy duty Singer sewing machine also comes with a built in 1-step buttonhole stitch. With this sewing machine you can control the stitch length, width, and upper thread tension. You can also adjust the feed dog teeth height and the presser foot pressure. This is really great when you are trying to do things like quilt or sew on vinyl or sew leather. This machine has the automatic bobbin winding and the drop in top bobbin that the Singer 4432 has. It also has the ability to do free arm sewing when you remove the accessory storage container.

The Singer heavy duty 4432 sewing machine comes with four presser feet: an all purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, and a button sewing foot. This machine comes with a soft sided dust cover. This Singer sewing machine is covered by their 25 year limited warranty, so be sure to register on Singer’s website when you purchase it.

Product Features:

  • Heavy duty metal frame
  • 60% stronger motor
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • 1-step buttonhole
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Drop-in top bobbin
  • Can do free arm sewing
  • Four sewing feet: all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot
  • 1,100 stitches per minute
  • Sewing light
  • Soft dust cover included
  • 25 year limited warranty

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Sewing Machines for Thick Fabric FAQ

How do I sew through very thick material?

Sewing through very thick material is easy with the right sewing machine and settings. For very thick material, you want to use a heavy duty sewing machine. Any of the machines here should be able to handle sewing through thick material. You would want to make sure to use the appropriate needle for your sewing material. For sewing canvas or denim, use a jeans sewing needle. For sewing leather, use a leather sewing needle. For sewing vinyl, use a vinyl sewing needle. For sewing thick material, you would also want to consider using a thicker thread. Denim, canvas, and leather should be sewn with a heavier than normal sewing thread. For sewing fleece, fake fur, or vinyl you would probably use a normal weight thread depending on your project.

When sewing very thick material, always sew a few pieces of test fabric first to see how your machine performs. Check your machine’s tension with these heavy materials while you are at it. Remember, the threads should join in the middle of two pieces of fabric being sewn together. If your sewing machine does not seem to be handling the heavy fabric well, stop! You do not want to accidentally damage your machine by forcing it through thicker material than it can handle. If your material is too thick to pass through the presser foot, you can try smashing the seams together with a rubber mallet before sewing the material.

What is the best heavy duty Singer sewing machine?

In our opinion the best Singer heavy duty sewing machine is the Singer 4432. This sewing machine has all of the built in stitches and features of the Singer heavy duty 4452. The only difference is that the Singer 4432 does not come with the two additional presser feet that the 4452 has. You can buy these presser feet separately if you need them. The Singer 4432 has more stitches than the much loved Singer heavy duty 4423 but is basically the same machine. Because it has all of the stitches of the Singer 4452 heavy duty, and more than the Singer 4423 but with the same basic machine, we consider the Singer 4432 the best Singer heavy duty sewing machine.

Can you use thick thread in a sewing machine?

Yes, you can use thick thread in a sewing machine. When you are sewing heavy fabrics like denim or canvas, you want to use a heavier thread. This way the thread is better suited to the material being sewn and is more durable. Thin thread being used with a thicker fabric can break easily, especially as the fabric is stretched and stressed in daily use. Sewing with a thicker thread will prevent the thread from snapping easily and help protect your project.

What should your tension be on a sewing machine?

Your tension on your sewing machine should generally be set so that your stitches join together in the middle of your fabric that you are sewing. This is especially important to check if you are going from sewing with a normal weight fabric and thread to sewing heavier materials with a thicker thread. The thicker thread might pull differently through your machine. Make sure to use a scrap piece or two of fabric and sew some test stitches before you start sewing your project to ensure that your tension is set correctly for your materials.

Can all sewing machines sew denim?

Most sewing machines can sew denim, especially only a layer or two of denim. Regular sewing machines start to have problems sewing through denim and other materials when you hit multiple layers of seams. Usually at three or more layers you would want to use a heavy duty sewing machine to sew denim. For sewing denim, make sure that you are using a sharp new denim sewing needle with your sewing machine. Also make sure that you are using a heavier weight thread to ensure your seams last. Finally, if you are having issues getting the material to pass under the presser foot, remove the fabric from the machine and flatten the seams with a rubber mallet before trying to sew it again.

What should I look for in a heavy duty sewing machine?

Heavy duty sewing machines come with quite a few different features. Most machines these days have basic features like automatic needle threading, bobbin winding, multiple built-in stitches, adjustable presser foot pressure, and feed dog teeth height. Modern sewing machines often have LED lighting which is better than the incandescent lighting of older machines. They can also do free arm sewing, making it easy to hem jeans, finish sleeve cuffs, and sew children’s clothes.

Some features to look for in a heavy duty sewing machine include:

  • Metal interior / frame / gears for improved durability
  • Stronger than average motor for more piercing power
  • Built-in stitches that will meet the needs of your projects
  • Manufacturer warranty
  • Good user reviews and ratings

In summary

Sewing thick fabric can be hard without the right sewing machine. These sewing machines here are the best sewing machines for thick fabric or sewing heavy materials. These heavy duty sewing machines are the best sewing machine for denim and best sewing machine for jeans sewing. They also are great heavy duty sewing machine for canvas sewing, perfect for working with Sunforger or maritime sewing projects. So if you are looking for a sewing machine for thick fabric, you can’t go wrong with picking one of the machines here.



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