Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Searching for sewing machine to do heavy

Liz1 | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

I am searching for a sewing machine that will do regular fabrics as well as heavier material such as cordura nylon, webbing material etc. (my husband wants to be able to repair his outdoor gear when necessary). What do you recommend?


  1. MegVT | | #1


    I have a Pfaff 1222E which I purchased new in 1980.  I've stitched silk, tons of cotton for quilts, denim, cordura, just about everything (not leather, though).  This is a fantastic machine.  You can sometimes find 1222's on Ebay.  It's made of a cast aluminum body. 

    I don't know what newer machines would fit your needs.  Best luck in hunting for one which suits your needs!


    1. Liz1 | | #5

      Thanks to everyone who has responded! I think my current (old Pfaff 1027 without dual feed) is just not up to the task of heavy materials. I will take your advice concerning all the machines you have recommended. Liz

      1. Desiderata | | #6

        Hi, there are 2 Pfaffs 1222E going on the German Ebay right now. The prices are usually excellent and you could always resell it on Ebay if you do not want to take it with you to the States. You won't lose out on such an arrangement.  Good Luck!

  2. Katydid | | #2

    Pretty much any of the better machines made by Janome will handle just about anything:  Jeans (several layers of denim), sail (for boats)canvas, outdoor fabrics, wedding dress fabrics, embelished fabrics (like with sequins, etc.).  Janome has never disapointed me in what it will do.

  3. ChrisHaynes | | #3

    Truthfully Cordura is not that bad... and nylon webbing is a cinch to sew.

    What you need to to have a good sized sharp (denim) needle to sew through the stuff. 

     When I started sewing with Cordura several years ago my little tiny Viking Vanessa did balk at it (it was a small lightweight machine).   So what I did was go shopping for a new machine by taking several swatches of Cordura with me.  There several good mechanical machines that could sew through 6 to 8 layers of the stuff.  These included Bernina, Viking, and whatever (I think there was a Janome in there, but I don't remember)... only the budget priced (cheap) machines balked.

    I bought a Pfaff 955 -- it is a mechanical machine with IDT (kind of decsendent of the 1222I), mostly because I love the dual feed.  It is still going strong.  And it sews on light fabrics nicely too... I just bought a single needle plate and foot for it to sew through sheers.

    Take samples of Cordura in and try it out.  Also check out the pictures of my funny tetrahedron bags in the Photo Gallery here... the blue one is of chair duck, which is MUCH harder to sew through than Cordura.

    1. Liz1 | | #4

      Thank you for your response! I have an old Pfaff which is a really basic model without dual feed and I think that is one of the problems. I am currently living in Germany (military) and so do not have the luxury at this time to visit sewing stores that have a wide selection of machines. I will probably be ordering online. Thanks for your helpful info. Liz

  4. louise | | #7


    Buy yourself and industrial.  The do everything and they have a large machine bed to rest fabrics on.  There is NOTHING to match them, I don't care what the manufacturers say.

    If you can't afford new, there is usually a good market for used ones.

    The best tip I read in Threads in this situation is to buy a bobbin case set for each of three general fabric types: fine, medium and heavy duty fabrics.


    1. Desiderata | | #8

      I am in total agreement with your suggestion Louise, but not everyone has the space for an industrial and since she is in Germany it would probably be easier to resell a pfaff 1222 than an industrial or even easier to take a 1222 back with her to the states.

      My personal preferences for such jobs are commercial machines, either a Bernina 217 or a Pfaff 138, older machines but these will handle any job and last forever.

      Bernina 950 or an 840 with commercial motor and table is also a good choice.

      1. louise | | #10


        I agree that commercial machines take up space and that European homes generally make fewer space concessions than North American homes, however, given that I have mine in a 55 square foot laundry room that I share with a stacked washer and dryer, ironing board, pantry and fabric stash,I would suggest that room could be found if the need is great enough.

        I am sure your other suggestions are equally valid and do not present the space problem



  5. sueb | | #9

    I traded in my home sewing machine for a light industrial machine and have been very pleased.  I sew a lot of very very bulky seams, leather and other materials and my Juki TL98E has no problem at all with them.  It also sews at 1500 stitches per minute as apposed to the home sewers machines that sew from 250-600 per minute.  It's a mechanical machine vs a digital machine which I prefer.  The household sewing machines do not compare to an industrial machine.  I got my machine from http://www.allbrands.com  



  6. IBCarolyn | | #11

    Dear Liz, I agree with Sue that the Juki is a very nice machine.  Allbrands does seem to have the best prices.  In the states, machines that will handle the three types of fabrics you use would be the ones with needle-up-and-down and variable speed.  These machines usually have a DC motor which can handle various types of fabrics.  They generally start at $499 and go up. 

    Regards, Carolyn

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All