What Size Sewing Machine For Denim Easy Guide

What Size Sewing Machine For Denim?

Denim, that tried and true fabric of our favorite jeans, is a staple in every wardrobe. But, have you ever thought about bringing that sturdy, fashionable material to your DIY sewing projects? If so, you might be wondering: “What size sewing machine for denim?” Let’s break it down!

“Sewing denim requires a machine that can handle its toughness.”

Choosing the right machine for your denim endeavors can make all the difference between a frustrating fail and a triumphant success. So, before you dive into your next project, let’s delve into the exciting world of sewing machines and denim. You may read also What Thread Do I Use For Machine Sewing Leather?

What is the thickness of the denim fabric that the sewing machine can handle?

Understanding the thickness of denim that a sewing machine can handle is essential in choosing the right tool for your projects. In general, regular household sewing machines can handle denim of up to 12 oz. However, heavier denim, like those used for upholstery or heavy-duty workwear, may require a more robust machine.

Denim Thickness and Sewing Machines: A Quick Guide

Not all denim is equal in thickness, so it’s important to note the different types:

  • Lightweight Denim: This is about 5 to 9 oz and is suitable for garments like shirts and dresses. Most home sewing machines can handle this thickness.
  • Medium Weight Denim: Ranging from 10 to 12 oz, this is your typical jeans fabric. Some, but not all, household machines can sew this thickness.
  • Heavyweight Denim: This is 13 oz or more and used for items like denim jackets or upholstery. It’s usually too thick for regular home sewing machines.

When sewing denim, especially thicker variants, it’s also crucial to use the right needle – a denim or jeans needle (size 90/14, 100/16, or 110/18). These are specifically designed to handle the density and weave of denim fabric, making your task easier and more successful.

Commercial Sewing Machines and Denim

For those dealing with thick, heavyweight denim regularly or for commercial purposes, investing in a commercial or industrial sewing machine might be beneficial. These machines are designed to handle heavier fabrics and prolonged use, ensuring that you can sew your denim projects effectively and efficiently.

Remember, the key is to understand your sewing needs and match them with the capabilities of the sewing machine. After all, the right tools make any job easier!

What are the recommended stitch types and lengths for sewing denim?

Whether you’re patching up a beloved pair of jeans or embarking on a denim DIY, the stitch type and length you select can make all the difference. Here are a few tips the pros swear by when it comes to sewing this sturdy fabric.

Stitch Types

For denim, the most recommended stitch types are straight and zigzag. Straight stitches are the go-to for most seams and topstitching. They are reliable and sturdy, just like your denim. Zigzag stitches are great for finishing raw edges, preventing them from fraying and giving your piece a polished look.

Stitch Length

Denim is a heavy fabric, so it requires longer stitch lengths. A length of 3mm to 3.5mm is generally recommended for straight stitches. When using a zigzag stitch for finishing, a length of between 3mm and 5mm works well.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to play around with different stitches and lengths on scrap pieces of denim before diving into your main project. You may read also How To Adjust A Singer Sewing Machine For Leather?

Are there any specific features or accessories that a sewing machine should have for sewing denim?

When it comes to sewing denim, not just any sewing machine will do. Denim, known for its durability and thickness, requires a sewing machine that can handle its sturdy nature. There are indeed specific features and accessories that a sewing machine should have to effectively sew this tough fabric.

Heavy-Duty Construction

A sewing machine for denim should boast a solid, heavy-duty construction. It needs to withstand the pressure of handling thick fabric without faltering. Look for models with a strong metal frame to ensure stability and longevity.

Powerful Motor

Denim isn’t a fabric you can handle with a weak motor. A high-powered motor is essential for sewing denim. It guarantees that the machine can penetrate the fabric easily, reducing the risk of needle breakage or skipped stitches.

Needle Size and Type

The needle is key when sewing denim so a sewing machine should be compatible with larger needle sizes. Specifically, denim or jeans needles are ideal as they are designed to handle the rigors of the fabric. Sizes 16/100 or 18/110 are usually suitable for denim.

Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure

The ability to adjust the pressure of the presser foot is a must-have feature. It allows the machine to adapt to the thickness of the denim, ensuring smooth fabric feed and preventing bunching or puckering.


Having the right accessories on hand can make your sewing project a breeze. Some helpful ones include a denim needle, a sturdy thread that matches your denim, a jeans foot, and a walking foot. These accessories are specially designed to tackle the challenges of denim sewing.

What is the budget range for sewing machines suitable for sewing denim?

Before we dive into the ocean of denim-sewing machines, it’s essential to understand the budget range that we’re talking about. Let’s get this straight quality and durability often come at a price, but that doesn’t mean breaking the bank is the only option!

Low-End Machines

Beginning with the low-end spectrum, you can find decent models starting at around $100. These machines are typically lightweight, portable, and are perfect for beginners or occasional users.

Mid-Range Machines

Mid-range machines, priced from $200 to $500, offer more power and durability. They have a larger variety of stitch types and tend to handle thicker fabric like denim more easily.

High-End Machines

On the high-end of the spectrum, machines can cost upwards of $500. With these machines, you’re getting professional-grade power, advanced features, and increased durability. They’re perfect for regular heavy-duty sewing or those wanting to take their craft to the next level.

Remember, the best sewing machine for denim is not always the most expensive one. It’s the one that fits your sewing needs, skill level, and budget. Happy sewing! You may read also Is A Free Westinghouse Sewing Machine Good For Leather?


And there you have it! We’ve navigated the ins and outs of determining the right sewing machine size for denim. Choosing the right sewing machine for denim is less about the physical size and more about the machine’s features, strength, and durability.

Remember, denim is a tough fabric, and to sew it efficiently, your machine must have a strong motor, special needles, and an adjustable foot pressure feature.

  • Strong motor: A sewing machine with a powerful motor will easily handle denim and other thick fabrics without stalling or breaking.
  • Special needles: Denim or Jeans needles that are typically size 14/90 or 16/100 are ideal for a clean, professional finish.
  • Adjustable foot pressure: This feature allows you to control the pressure exerted on the fabric, making it easier to sew through multiple layers of denim.

Let’s not forget about the importance of a machine’s durability. A model made with metal parts instead of plastic will withstand the rigors of sewing denim far better.

Investing in a sewing machine that meets these criteria may cost a bit more, but the payoff in durability, ease, and quality of work is well worth it. As they say, buy right, and you’ll only cry once!

Happy sewing!


1. Can I use a regular sewing machine for denim?

Yes, you can. However, it is essential to ensure your machine can handle heavier fabrics. A heavy-duty machine is typically best for denim.

2. What size sewing machine needle do I need for denim?

A size 14/90 or 16/100 would be ideal. These are specially reinforced to handle the thickness of denim fabric.

3. Do I need a special foot for my sewing machine when working with denim?

Not necessarily. However, a walking foot or a denim foot can help feed the fabric through the machine evenly.

4. How important is the thread when sewing denim?

Just as important as the machine and needle! For sewing denim, a strong topstitch thread is recommended.

5. What type of sewing machine works best for denim?

A heavy-duty machine or an industrial-grade machine is best equipped for sewing denim.

6. Can all sewing machines handle denim?

Not all. Some machines, particularly lightweight or older models, may struggle with heavier fabrics like denim.

7. How can I make sewing denim easier?

Using the right size needle, using strong thread, and adjusting your sewing machine’s tension can all help.

8. What problems might I encounter when sewing denim?

Common issues include needle breakage, skipped stitches, and uneven feeding of fabric.

9. Is there a specific brand of sewing machine best for denim?

No single brand outshines the rest, but Singer, Brother, and Janome all offer heavy-duty models suitable for denim.

10. Can I sew denim by hand?

It’s possible, but it can be challenging due to the fabric’s thickness. A thimble can help protect your fingers.

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