Using a Heavy Duty Walking Foot Sewing Machine for Thick Fabrics

Whether you are a sailor, upholster, or leather shop owner- it’s important that you understand the importance of using the right sewing machine for your heavy duty projects. One example is a sailor and understanding most new boats are going to need a ton of canvas or brightwork done initially and also throughout many years of boating. It’s important for you to use a quality walking foot sewing machine that is easy to use, reasonably priced, durable, rugged, dependable, and has years of success. Here are the most important benefits to a walking foot sewing machine when sewing heavy duty fabrics such as leather, canvas, sailcloth, upholstery materials, strapping and more:

  1. The Walking Foot.  When you use a heavy duty industrial walking foot sewing machine- it comes with a built-in walking foot mechanism. This is very different that most walking foot attachments that only snap-on regular household sewing machines. This built-in walking foot will evenly feed your material as it grabs (with its traction like grip) the top of your material. This built in walking foot works in conjunction with the feed dogs which pull the bottom piece of the material through the sewing process
  2. Higher Foot Lift. Most built-in walking foot sewing machines have a 3/8” lift which allows you to put more material under the presser foot. You can comfortably sew most heavy duty materials under the presser foot because of the walking foot assembly.
  3. DVD. Who actually reads instruction manuals? Maybe 10% of folks. You want to order a walking foot sewing machine that comes with a DVD. Learning visually is much easier for the majority of the population. You can pop this DVD in while you open up the sewing machine and feel more comfortable with your purchase.
  4. Portability. This is a huge concept for sailors or anyone who needs to transfer their sewing machine from place to place. Most walking foot machines are roughly 35-40 pounds, depending on the size (7” or 9” gate) of the machine. Feel free to take your walking foot sewing machine anywhere as it’s easy to grip underneath the head of the machine. There are many cases available for this type of sewing machine as well.
  5. Cast Iron Body and Metal Parts. All walking foot sewing machines come with a cast iron finish and all metal working parts. Metal gears and parts will last much longer than any sewing machine with plastic gears and parts. Plastic gears and parts crack and break down quickly. Having a cast iron body proves to be much more durable than plastic bodies. If the machine drops, it will not shatter into 100 pieces. Durability is much higher with a walking foot sewing machine.
  6. Electronic Foot Control. All walking foot sewing machines come with an electronic foot controller. You can control your speed better with this type of foot controller. You want to use a long foot controller cord, if possible. Most walking foot sewing machines come with a longer cord.
  7. Warranty. You want to make sure you are buying your walking foot sewing machine from a trusted source. You want to buy from a company who has been in business for several years. Usually a warranty or a store credit is what you should be looking for. You want to find a machine with a 1 year parts warranty in case you drop your machine. You want to look for a supplier with a 3 month labor warranty. You also want to find a warranty with a credit in case you accidently needed a household sewing machine.


It’s important to find a heavy duty walking foot sewing machine with all 7 of the above bullets check-marked. There are other benefits you can see at



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