Even though I bought my newest car 3 years ago, I could already see some tears in my car’s upholstery. I find it would be very expensive to have it fixed by a maintenance specialist which isn’t sustainable for me. 

After doing some research, I discovered that the entire procedure is relatively simpler and less expensive than I had anticipated. As a result, I made the decision to reupholster it myself. That’s why ever since I’ve sewn and stitched auto upholstery for myself.

It took me quite a few tries to determine which is the best auto upholstery sewing machine for me.

Purchasing an automotive upholstery sewing machine is a difficult task and requires quite a lot of researching as well as investing. That’s why, in this article, I will give people an in-depth review of some of the best products for sale currently in order to help sewers buy their most suitable one for their auto upholstery.

My suggested Top-tier machines for Upholstery-making list:

1. Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Upholstery Machine

 Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Upholstery Machine w/Table & Motor (Table Comes Assembled)
Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Upholstery Machine w/Table & Motor (Table Comes Assembled)

I cannot make a list without mentioning my personal favorite model – Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Upholstery Machine. This is one of the best well-rated and popular heavy-duty sewing machines for Upholstery available right now on the market.

As you may have already known, while looking for a sewing machine for heavy fabrics, sewers should opt for the one that can sew very long stitches. Because then they won’t have to worry about any damage, and layers of fabric can be held together tightly.

Fortunately, Consew 206RB-5 is the perfect solution for this. Especially, with its presser foot, you can even work with extra-long stitches of 10 mm and 14 mm.

What’s more? This one has walking feet that can be adjusted to work with materials of various thicknesses, allowing you to sew and quilt items other than upholstery, such as purses and pillow covers. It also has interchangeable walking feet, needles, and other attachments with other Consew models like the 226R – 2 and 255 RB – 2. So you can say that this is a very customizable machine.

Especially, the high sewing speed is a noticeable feature of this Consew model. It works at an extremely fast speed of 3300 stitches per minute, making it one of the most powerful sewing machines for upholsteries.

The locking stitch mechanism is also a major reason it’s at the top of my list. This makes it ideal for sewing car interiors since it prevents the stitch length from moving. 

Let’s talk about the price right now. It is, unfortunately, on the pricey side for me, but it is well worth it. However, if you’re persuaded by its benefits, you can go for second hand option for more a much cheaper price tag. It’s suitable for you to sew regularly.

Although this machine is simple to operate, it is not the best beginner model and requires users to have some sewing machine knowledge and expertise in order to operate efficiently.

All in all, This is a good investment for high-quality equipment that will easily handle all of your professional sewing tasks.

PROS CONS
Long stitch lengths

Easy to use

Large table 

Customizable

Offer stitch locking 

Pricey

Not for beginners

2. Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with Table and Servo Motor

Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with Table and Servo Motor
Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine with Table and Servo Motor

Here’s another alternative that will impress professionals. This sewing machine is not only great for sewing and quilting fabrics, but it’s also great for stitching car seat. Unlike the above option, this Consew 206RB-5 Walking Foot Industrial Sewing Machine is an industrial model for much heavier duty tasks. 

Because it can work efficiently with a thick thread or on a heavy canvas or leather, you can definitely count it as one of the top-quality upholstery machines on the market today.

Let’s go on to some other important aspects, such as why this product deserves to be on our list.

The machine is driven by a very powerful, compact servo motor and comes with a sewing table. These traits, I believe, will appeal to any furniture maker or upholsterers because they make the upholstery sewing process more enjoyable and less time-consuming. These are also the special components that allow you to sew at a maximum pace of 3300 stitches per minute.

Another great feature of this device is the presser foot’s maximum stitch length of 14 mm. That’ll come in handy when working with thick materials, which you’ll be doing a lot of.

Keep in mind, however, that due to its great size and power, it is not a home sewing machine because of its high price as well as size. This can be a problem unless you have a lot of space in your home and are not afraid of big investment. 

In short, this is by far the greatest solution for professional users who need to make Upholstery swiftly and efficiently.

PROS CONS
Easy to adjust

Large workspace

Powerful

Long stitches and Adjustable 

Bulk and heavy

High cost

3. Yamata FY5318 Walking Foot lockstitch Sewing Machine Head only

 Yamata FY5318 Walking Foot lockstitch Sewing Machine Head only
Yamata FY5318 Walking Foot lockstitch Sewing Machine Head only

When purchasing a sewing machine, many people are concerned about the quantity of space required. Purchasing a strong product necessitates a large amount of storage space. So, if you don’t want to take up too much room, we might have a solution for you.

By far the best electric fabric cutting and sewing machine is Yamata’s.

Straight stitching will not be an issue, despite the fact that it is a little small. A long-lasting servo motor with speeds up to 1750 RPM and 1350 SPM is included.

This method will allow you to quickly sew through any lightweight or upholstery textiles. A stitch length of 8 mm is available as well, which is more than enough for most workloads.This walking foot machine is really easy to operate. A 12 mm clearance is provided, which is more than enough. Because the lubrication is automatic, you won’t have to worry about the drop feed.

Because of their strong build, the top and bottom feeds can efficiently work with multiple layers. A sewing machine would normally cost less than $150, however, that isn’t the case here. When compared to the alternatives, however, it’s a great deal.

In conclusion, this product offers amazing value compared to its cost. You get a powerful motor without giving up a lot of space.

PROS CONS
Affordable pricing

Good clearance

Auto-lubrication

Compact size

Efficient motor

Not a lot of working room

4. Juki DDL-8700-H Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine, K.D table & Servo Motor DIY

Juki DDL-8700-H Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine, K.D table & Servo Motor DIY
Juki DDL-8700-H Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine, K.D table & Servo Motor DIY

The Juki DDL-8700-H model is a great choice if you’re looking for an industrial style, heavy-duty, and very durable sewing machine to work on your upholstery.

This is a heavy-duty sewing machine that excels in producing high-quality straight stitches on medium to heavy materials, as the name implies. The machine features a huge arm space that allows it to stitch bulky projects such as car seat coverings.

This sewing machine is special in that it has a motor that can readily deliver up to 4000 stitches per minute, whereas most personal sewing machines struggle to handle thick fabrics. When compared to other machines, this one is extremely rapid, and you can complete sewing chores in no time with it.

Furthermore, its automotive lubrication system maintains it well maintained without much work, which is one of my favorite features. Furthermore, it can stitch materials up to 5mm thick, allowing you to sew much heavier fabric, leather, or any other sewing materials. This sewing machine has a servo motor that can sew numerous layers of leather or other upholstery items, and it’s powerful enough to handle a lot of heavy-duty labor.

Not only that, but it also comes with a number of accessories. Extra needles and a large bobbin are included, allowing you to work on items other than upholstery sewing.
Unlike other solutions, it will not drain your bank account. It’s a good product that’s simple to use and will last a long time in your vehicle seats.

It is the best fabric repair kit for upholstery and clothes because of all of these advantages.

Unfortunately, this model has flaws; the most significant drawback, in my opinion, is the large weight and size of this industrial machine, which prevents it from being portable. You also can’t make multiple types of stitches because it’s designed to produce a simple straight stitch.

In general, this Juki product is the most affordable industrial sewing machine that allows you to complete your task more easily.

PROS CONS
Affordable

11 inches of arm space

Knee lifter 

Beginner-friendly

Heavy

Single stitch

5. SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine

 SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine With Accessory Kit
SINGER | 9960 Sewing & Quilting Machine With Accessory Kit

If you’re a sewing lover, you’ve most likely heard of this name at least once. The Quantum Stylist 9960 is a truly industrial sewing machine that can satisfy any sewers, either professionals or amateurs. 

Many of its customers review that the product’s most remarkable aspects are 600 built-in stitches, as well as completely automatic needle threading, cutting, buttonhole, auto-pilot, and tension control.It has a maximum speed of 850 SPM, which many would think to be slow, however, I find it ideal for sewing upholstery materials. I have never had any trouble stitching through thick materials like leather or denim, but with many layers may be a different story. 

For beginners, this model may not be very straightforward, but after some practice, you will find it really simple to use. Furthermore, because of its complete computerization, you can always produce professional-class pieces of upholstery with straight stitches every time!

Because of the several advantages it offers, this machine is truly a steal. Furthermore, its computerized technology provides it a significant advantage over many of the equipment already on the market. It also comes with a variety of budget-friendly accessories. It comes with a huge extension table, an all-purpose foot, a buttonhole foot, a quilting foot, and more.

On the downside, for sewing upholstery, this one lacks the motor strength to handle heavier or thicker textiles like leather, vinyl, and a few other materials while stitching upholstery. It’s also one of the slower machines.

Overall, I would recommend Stylist 9960 for experienced sewers who want to accomplish any project with the highest precision and efficiency even if they are on a budget.

PROS CONS
Portable & light

Computerized technology

Durable

Many stitch types

Affordable

Not suitable for all materials

Slow 

6. Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine
Brother ST371HD Sewing Machine

Whether you’re just learning to sew or have a lot of expertise making interiors and furnishings, the Brother ST371HD sewing machine is a great pick. The ST371HD is designed for the home sewer or hobbyist who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a machine but still wants it to last for a long time.

The Brother ST371HD is from one of the most well-known brands, and it has 37 built-in stitches as well as an auto-size buttonhole. 

Personally, I strongly recommend this one because this heavy-duty machine is built to last and is ideal for stitching and mending a wide variety of textiles. It can perform smoothly on almost all types of lightweight textiles, silks, or strong outdoor fabrics, and it will last for years despite all the sewing and repairs.Furthermore, this product comes with essential extras that are equally beneficial for skilled sewers. This machine has it everything, from 6 sewing feet to a blind stitch, a zipper, a spring action zigzag foot, a buttonhole, and button sewing feet.

Another noteworthy feature is the drop feed, which allows for smooth free-motion sewing. Additionally, it includes a metal needle plate that protects the threading mechanism while also ensuring smoother fabric feeding, an automatic needle threader, and a jam-resistant drop-in top bobbin, ensuring that the needle is pushed through properly and quickly.

Especially beneficial for upholstery makers, with a stitch speed of 800 stitches per minute, it can speed up and improve the quality of your sewing tasks. The fact that this sewing machine got the Women’s Choice Award for quality speaks volumes.

Although this machine has many useful functions, some sewers, including myself, can be disappointed by the fact that it is slower than other traditional heavy-duty machines and struggles a bit with thicker materials.

However, for amateurs who are still discovering their love for upholstery stitching, this is one of the best upholstery machines.

PROS CONS
Lightweight

37 built-in stitches

Great value for the money

Strong and durable

Slower

Difficult when sewing thicker fabrics

7. SINGER | 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit & Foot Pedal

 SINGER | 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit & Foot Pedal
SINGER | 4411 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine With Accessory Kit & Foot Pedal

Are you still thinking about how much you enjoyed using an exceptionally durable heavy-duty sewing machine with a simple design, but you’re not sure which one is the most suitable for making upholstery. Then perhaps this SINGER machine will be the perfect match for you.

People call the SINGER 4411 heavy-duty sewing machine a true workhorse because it has a heavy-duty metal interior frame and a stainless steel bedplate with 11 built-in stitches, 4 decorative stitches, 6 basic stitches, and 1 built-in buttonhole, making it ideal for DIYs, crafts, home décor, and more.

However, the reasons why it is ideal for car interiors and furnishings are its high piercing power and 1100 stitches per minute, which let it easily sew through a variety of textiles. Moreover, the top drop-in bobbin, built-in 4-step buttonhole, drop feed for button stitching, and adjustable presser foot pressure makes heavy-duty sewing a little easier.

One of my favorite features of this machine is how it allows you to customize your experience with different heavy-duty materials thanks to an adjustable needle position mechanism and adjustable foot pressure. When dealing with specific upholstery fabrics, this helps protect the machine from damage while also allowing you to make better-looking results. Furthermore, the sewing machine’s free arm design allows you to get excellent results in difficult-to-reach areas like hems, collars, and cuffs.

The top-load bobbin has also received great feedback from many reviewers. Because the bobbin loads quickly and efficiently, a significant amount of labor and time is saved. 

The SINGER 4411 machine has a minor con, however, which is not portable. It’s difficult to relocate once you’ve fixed it to a sewing table.

To sum up, I can assure you that the endurance and effectiveness of this machine will not disappoint you, as it will let you have the finest results possible.

PROS CONS
Simple 

11 built-in stitches

Free arm design

Enables reverse stitch

Sturdy

Adjustable needle

Adjustable Presser foot

Not portable

Heavy

A bit expensive

8. REX Portable Walking-Foot Sewing Machine

 REX Portable Walking-Foot Sewing Machine
REX Portable Walking-Foot Sewing Machine

The final machine that makes it on our list is not only durable, but it also has incredible flow and speed, giving sewers the greatest output possible.
It’s a model from the trustworthy brand REX, called the REX Walking-Foot Sewing Machine. This is without a doubt the best portable industrial walking foot machine I’ve ever encountered. Its effectiveness and usefulness especially come out when I work with auto upholstery.

Are you wondering as to why it is regarded as one of the most highly rated and recommended upholstery models?

To begin, The machine includes a powerful, extremely fast motor and thick needles, making it excellent for sewing thick fabrics and upholstery materials without breaking them. This unit can sew up to 800 stitches per minute which is more than enough to stitch any heavy-duty material.

Another great side of it is the build-up design, which is solely based on industrial-grade cast iron. This makes it one of the most durable items available. Furthermore, cast iron keeps the body from rusting. Even though it might not be as light as a handheld model, its weight is still much lighter for its size thanks to the cast iron.

Aside from that, it has a 30mm needle stroke, allowing sewers to stitch practically four layers of fabric together – the perfect solution for sewing car interiors.

What I love most about REX is that it is one of the few manufacturers that allows me to do reverse stitching. Luckily, this one also offers reverse sewing features, making it the ultimate unit for the best stitching performance.

Finally, this machine comes with a user handbook, commercial thread stand, variable food speed, additional bobbins, and a user manual, all of which I believe will help me stitch more efficiently.

However, when I use this one with thick leather, it seems to struggle a little and the speed slows down. So, as a heads up, if you work with thick home furnishings on a regular basis, you might want to reconsider.

At the bottom line, If you have a restricted budget but need well-designed equipment to complete your auto upholstery projects, I would recommend this product.

PROS CONS
Heavy duty

Great for thick fabrics

Affordable

Portable

Additional accessories

Struggle with thick leather

And that is the end of my detailed reviews of these machines, next will be the answers to some of the most popular questions relating to upholstery sewing.

How to Use a Sewing Machine to Sew Auto Upholstery

This may appear to be a lot, but the entire process is considerably simpler than you may imagine. 

  • Examine the material you’re going to cut. Trim the edges or any additional pieces of material using a handy pair of scissors.
  • It’s now time to set your sewing machine up. It’s fine if you already know which options to select. For beginners, however, use a quality upholstery thread with a medium stitch length and medium-range tension.
  • After that, double-check that all of your fabrics is facing the same direction. You will achieve a lovely look this way.
  • Finally, it’s time to pick a needle. This is primarily determined by the fabric’s thickness. Stick to sizes 18 to 22 in most cases.
  • Let’s get stitching right away. The procedure is identical to that of a conventional sewing machine. You’ll be fine to go if you follow these simple steps. Don’t forget to double-check that the sewing room ceiling lights are up to the task.

How to Hand Sew Auto Upholstery

Many people attempt to sew by hand in addition to using a machine. Here is the simplified instruction that anyone can easily follow:

  • Because the condition can get worse, it’s critical to secure each side of the tear. It’s possible to accomplish so by stapling it. Also, a curved needle should be used for this.
  • Slip the needle from one end of the tear and out the other side after placing the same color thread. Then, return the needle to the opposite side of the fabric and slip it in. Continue in this manner until you reach the opposite end of the tear.
  • Stitch the area more than three times and tie a knot when you get to the conclusion. After that, you’re all set.

How To Sew Car Upholstery?

It’s not as difficult as you would imagine to make your own auto upholstery. Today, I’ll show you how to sew your own upholstery in a step-by-step approach.

  • When sewing material together, such as two pieces of vinyl, you’ll usually back them with foam for a lovely cushy feel. Closed-cell foam and scrim foam are the two basic forms of foam you should familiarize.
  • Closed-cell foam is perfect for door panels, side panels, package trays, and car headliners and is available in a variety of thicknesses. You can shape designs into this material, and it’s also sandable, so you may smoothen the edges for a clean look.  The only drawback is that it won’t hold a stitch, so it’s only good for planning out your interior.
  • Scrim foam, on the other hand, can retain a stitch better because it has a backing that provides the stitch something to grip onto and pull through. Moreover, this one is also available in various thicknesses. When it comes to vehicle seats, I like to use a half-inch thickness.
  • There is a technique that you could glue these two pieces together called a border stitch. 

To begin, pin the two pieces together and stitch right along the vinyl’s edge. After that, trim the foam to seal the two parts together.

We’re ready to lay down a plain seam now that we’ve completed two of these. 

I’ll begin by laying the two parts face to face, setting the needle, making a lock stitch, then running the stitch, and finally finishing with a lock stitch at the end. 

  • This is a plain seam, which is the most popular pattern in automobile seats. Because it’s basic and clean, but it also hides the border stitch we made before, so you don’t have to worry about it showing.
  • If you want to get a bit fancier, we’ll do a topstitch. It’ll sit just next to the seam. All we have to do now is keep our seam allowance flat so the stitch can pass through it, and we’ll have a strong stitch. Then, in the center of the seam, rest on your left foot and create your stitch.
  • A French stitch is a step further; we would apply the same steps as the top stitch, just on the opposite side. This is something that is more common in higher-end products.

These are the ways to make your upholstery look fantastic, and they’re also a simple technique to make whatever piece you’re working on appear to be very expensive.

Auto Upholstery Sewing Machine Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to sewing and stitching auto upholstery, you’ll want to opt for a heavy-duty one. This can be done with a computerized or mechanical machine. 

A Consew, Brother, or Juki machine is what we prefer to use. These are the most reliable sewing machine brands for auto upholstery.

You’ll need a machine that can handle heavier fabrics, such as leather and canvas.
Just a heads up: upholstery sewing machines are large, heavy, and often pricey. You’ll have a hard time locating a cheap sewing machine for novices in this town.

Now that you know which sewing products to purchase, you must consider a few features before making your purchase. 

  • SPM

This refers to the number of stitches your machine can produce in a minute. Many individuals are confused with this feature because it is difficult to determine how much power you need for your materials. A Singer heavy-duty machine, for example, might be far too powerful for your purposes.
If you’re a beginner, we’d recommend getting one that can do roughly 1500 SPM.

  • Versatility

The ability to sew a variety of items is a major selling point for such machines. 

When you’re looking through all of the different sewing machine brands, bear in mind whether or not they can operate with different fabrics. You should aim for more than just upholstery. So, seek out anything that can provide more, for example, can be utilized as a sewing machine for manufacturing leather bags.

  • Best Motor

In a sewing machine, there are essentially two types of motors to be found: clutch and servo. 

For sewing thick materials, like upholstery fabrics, we would recommend the servo motor more. These motors are the greatest option since they are very light, run more effectively, and are silent.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which sewing machine is best for auto upholstery?

The greatest solution is always determined by each persons’ needs.

For me, personally, the Yamata FY5318 is the best auto upholstery sewing machine overall. The machine is not only strong but also reasonably priced. It can be used easily by both professionals and hobbyists.

  • Is it possible to stitch auto upholstery using a standard sewing machine?

You might be able to pull it off, but it is not recommended. There’s a good chance you’ll ruin the entire upholstery if you are not used to how it operates. Upholstery is a soft and padded textile covering made of padding, webbing, leather, vinyl, and springs. Upholstery is commonly used to cover furniture, automobile seats, tents, and other items. Standard sewing machines, on the other hand, are not designed to handle thick fabrics. Therefore, understandably, they are unable to sew thicker, padded materials efficiently. 

  • For upholstery, what sort of sewing machine is used?

Upholstery is frequently done with very strong motorized machinery, preferably a servo motor. They need to be able to handle thick fabrics and heavy materials with ease. As a result, upholstery sewing machines are built specifically to sew with a variety of needles on heavy and thick textiles. Upholstery sewing machines are typically equipped with powerful motors and a variety of specialty needles. In comparison to a standard sewing machine, an upholstery sewing machine can sew for substantially longer periods of time.

  • Is it required to have a large table for the sewing machine?

Yes, although some people may disagree with me because they find it inconvenient and it takes up too much space, I reckon having a huge table to work on is quite useful. You’ll have extra room to work and hang the fabrics.

  • What kind of sewing machine should I use to stitch denim jackets and pants?

I would not use Standard sewing machines to sew denim because they are designed to handle thick fabrics. To do so, you’ll need a powerful machine, such as one that can handle upholstery – an Upholstery Sewing machine for example. They have a powerful motor and sturdy structure to get the work done quickly and efficiently.

Conclusion

The sewing machine buying process can be troublesome. There are many sewing machines on the market, but only a handful are capable of dealing with the fabrics needed to upholster your vehicle. I hope that my article will be able to give you all the necessary pros and cons as well as overall looks into the features of the 8 top quality machines in my and thousands of reviewers’ opinions. Although I cannot tell all readers the one best machine that is most appropriate for all of you, sewers can make up their own mind on which one is the best auto upholstery sewing machine for themselves from this article. 

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