10 Best Sewing Machine for Denim and Jeans

IN THIS GUIDE

Ever since Levi Strauss sewed up his first pair of jeans back during the California Gold Rush, people have been making and wearing jeans made from denim.  

The first jeans were made to be tough, durable pants for miners who’d be outside working in the dirt and water all day and would rarely if ever have time to wash or mend their clothes.

My grandpa grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana and used to joke that his work Levi’s were so strong they could stand up by themselves in a corner.

Fast forward a hundred years or so and denim is one of the most popular fabrics, and jeans are one of the most common things you’ll find in any closet.

If you want to start making your own jeans, you’ll want to look for the best sewing machine for denim – one that can handle multiple layers of this stiff and sturdy fabric without getting stuck or hung up.

We’ve sorted through the best sewing machines for jeans and come up with a shortlist of the best denim sewing machines out there. 

Now let’s have a look…

10 Best Sewing Machines for Jeans

Read on for our top 10 picks for the best sewing machine for denim. Whether you’re a home sewist or an industrial maker, check out the features you’ll need for sewing this heavy fabric with ease.

This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.

#1 Singer Heavy Duty 4452

SINGER | Heavy Duty 4452 Sewing Machine with 32 Built-In Stitches, Metal Frame, Built-In Needle Threader, & Heavy Duty Accessory Kit – Sewing Made Easy,Grey
  • SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 sewing machine boasts an array of features that make creating elegant garments and gifts for yourself and others fun and exciting. The Sewing machine with 32 built-in stitches includes 6 Basic, 7 Stretch, 18 Decorative Stitches and 1 Fully Automatic 1-step Buttonholes. A large variety of stitches for all types of sewing and perfect for crafts, home decor, clothing construction and much more
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER SEWING MACHINE: After following the threading path printed right on the machine, this built-in feature helps you to effortlessly thread the eye of the needle without eye strain or frustration, Machine Size – 15.5 x 6.25 x 12 inches
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE: The Singer 4452 sewing machine has a maximum sewing speed of 1,100 stitches-per-minute, so projects can be sewn quickly. The 60% Stronger Motor than standard sewing machines allows it to sew through heavyweight fabrics with ease.
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: Four bonus Heavy Duty optimized accessories included: Even Feed / Walking Foot for layers of fabric, Non-Stick Foot for leather and vinyl, a 5-pack of Size 16 needles and a Clearance Plate for thick seams. Plus a variety of must-have accessories are included with all-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, seam ripper / lint brush, quilting guide, needles, bobbins, screwdriver, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt are all conveniently located and stored in the accessory tray. A soft-sided dust cover is also included in the packaging
  • BEST SELLING SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Heavy Duty 4452 sewing machine is a true workhorse. The stainless steel bedplate enables smooth fabric flow and the heavy duty interior metal frame ensures skip-free sewing. Top drop-in bobbin is easy to insert, remove and monitor thread supply

Manufacturers Specs

  • 1100 stitches per minute max
  • 32 built-in stitches
  • 15 pounds
  • 6 mm stitch width
  • 4 mm stitch length

What We Like

  • Adjustable needle position perfect for zippers and topstitching.
  • Extra-high presser foot lifter
  • Drop feed for free-motion sewing
  • Online sewing tutorials
  • Comes with a walking foot (super helpful for quilters), zipper foot, buttonhole foot, and other all-purpose feet
  • Onboard accessory storage

What We Don’t Like

  • The buttonhole attachment can be finicky
  • Automatic needle threader can take some practice

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty machine that has the ability to sew thicker materials like denim, this is a great choice. It comes with accessories like the walking foot that usually don’t come with basic mechanical machines. The adjustable needle position is super handy for inserting zippers, welt, and topstitching. This is a top buy for sure and is one of our favorites for the best sewing machine for denim and jeans.

#2 Brother Strong and Tough ST371HD

Brother Machine ST371HD, Strong & Tough, 37 Built-in Stitches, Free Arm Option, 6 Included Sewing Feet
  • 37 UNIQUE BUILT-IN STITCHES: The Brother ST371HD features 37 built-in stitches including an auto-size buttonhole
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER AND DROP-IN TOP BOBBIN: This sewing machine includes an automatic needle threader that perfectly pushes thread through the needle and a convenient, jam resistant drop-in top bobbin
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: The ST371HD heavy duty sewing machine includes 6 sewing feet, instructional DVD, manual and more
  • VERSATILE FREE ARM: This free arm sewing machine is perfect for a wide range of everyday sewing projects, and users from beginning to advanced
  • AT YOUR SIDE SUPPORT: The ST371HD sewing machine comes with Brother At Your Side support offering free technical support via online, live chat or phone for the life of your machine

Manufacturers Specs

  • 800 stitches per minute max
  • 37 built-in stitches
  • 15.1 pounds
  • 7 mm stitch width
  • 5 mm stitch length

What We Like

  • One-step automatic buttonholer
  • Good selection of presser feet
  • Metal needle plate
  • Twin needle capable
  • Drop feed
  • Free Arm

What We Don’t Like

  • Feels a bit “plastic-y”
  • LED light not very bright

Our Verdict

This machine has a free arm that comes in handy for hemming jeans and does a good job doing the tasks a sewist would want in a mechanical machine. It’s a solid choice at this price point, so we put it in our list of the best sewing machines for jeans.

#3 Janome Magnolia 7325 Sewing Machine

Janome Magnolia 7325 Sewing Machine with Exclusive Bonus Bundle
  • Bonus Bundle Includes: Purple Tote [color may vary].
  • Looking to get started sewing on a budget? The Magnolia 7325 might be the perfect fit! A fully electronic sewing machine with 25 stitches allows you to experiment and learn with ease.

Manufacturers Specs

  • 800 stitches per minute max
  • 25 built-in stitches
  • 18.7 pounds
  • 5 mm stitch width
  • 5 mm stitch length

What We Like

  • Needle up/down feature
  • Drop feed
  • High presser foot lift
  • Adjustable foot pressure
  • Good presser foot selection
  • Available optional accessories for future upgrades

What We Don’t Like

No locking stitch which we’d expect at this price point

Our Verdict

This machine is our top choice at this price point. Janome makes quality machines and this one has many extra features we didn’t expect like the needle up/down feature which can really add to your sewing enjoyment. The possibility to add extra accessories and presser feet in the future also makes this machine stand out. It’s a good choice if you are looking for the best sewing machine for denim.

#4 Singer 4423 Heavy Duty Sewing Machine

SINGER | Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine with 23 Built-In Stitches -12 Decorative Stitches, 60% Stronger Motor & Automatic Needle Threader, Perfect for Sewing all Types of Fabrics with Ease
  • SINGER HEAVY DUTY SEWING MACHINE: The 23 built-in stitches including basic, stretch, decorative, and buttonhole stitches allow you to sew a variety of projects, such as fashions, home décor, quilts, crafts, and more
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER SEWING MACHINE: After following the threading path printed right on the machine, this built-in feature helps you to effortlessly thread the eye of the needle without eye strain or frustration. Amps (0.7). Watts (84). Volts (120). Hz (60)
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE:The Singer 4423 Sewing Machine has a maximum sewing speed of 1, 100 stitches-per-minute, so projects can be sewn quickly. The 60% Stronger Motor provides greater piercing power for thick seams
  • HEAVY DUTY METAL FRAME: The Singer 4423 heavy duty sewing machine is a true workhorse. With a heavy-duty metal interior frame, stainless steel bedframe, extra-high sewing speed and powerful motor, this sewing machine can sew through a variety of heavy weight fabrics and provides long lasting stability
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of accessories are included with All-purpose foot, zipper foot, buttonhole foot, button sewing foot, seam ripper/lint brush, quilting guide, needles, bobbins, screwdriver, auxiliary spool pin, spool pin felt are all conveniently located and stored in the accessory tray. A soft-sided dust cover is also included in the packaging

Manufacturers Specs

  • 1100 stitches per minute max
  • 23 built-in stitches
  • 14.6 pounds
  • 6 mm stitch width
  • Adjustable stitch length

What We Like

  • Drop-in bobbin
  • Feed dogs can be dropped for free motion quilting
  • Strong motor
  • Built-in needle threader
  • Good assortment of stitches
  • Snap-on presser feet include zipper, buttonhole, button sewing foot

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be a bit loud
  • Hard to work the needle threader
  • Foot pedal can be finicky

Our Verdict

This machine is a good choice if you’re looking for something a bit heavier. It comes with just about everything a sewist would need to get started creating and sewing. One of our top picks for the best sewing machine for jeans for the home sewist.

#5 Brother PQ1500SL Sewing Machine

Brother Quilting Machine, PQ1500SL Up to 1,500 Stitches Per Minute, Wide Table, 7 Included Sewing Feet
  • 1,500 Stitches per Minute Max Sewing Speed: Maximum Stitching of Up to 1,500 Stitches per Minute Allows You to Sew and Quilt More in Less Time
  • Advanced Needle Threading System: This Sewing and Quilting Machine Includes an Automatic Needle Threader That Perfectly Pushes Thread Through the Needle and a Convenient, Jam Resistant Drop-In Top Bobbin
  • Included Accessories: The PQ1500SL longarm sewing and quilting machine comes with a wide table, 7 sewing feet, knee-lifter, instruction manual and more. The removable knee-lifter enables you to lift your presser foot with your knee, leaving both hands free for fabric handling
  • Precision Pin Feeding System: It’s So Easy to Sew a Wide Variety of Fabric Thicknesses Thanks to Brother’s Pin Feed System for Precision Fabric Feeding
  • At Your Side Support: The PQ1500SL quilting and sewing machine comes with Brother At Your Side Support offering free technical support via online, live chat or phone for the life of your machine

Manufacturers Specs

  • Maximum Stitch Speed: 1500 stitches/minute
  • Stitch length: 7mm
  • Straight stitch machine
  • 4 different feed dog settings
  • Features: 25-year warranty

What We Like

  • Automatic needle threader
  • Knee lifter
  • Pin feed system is good for delicate fabrics
  • Built-in cone thread stand

What We Don’t Like

  • Not a great machine for a beginner sewist, but great for a creative business

Our Verdict

This industrial machine is a winner for both straight stitching and quilting. The adjustable pin feed system works well on a variety of thicknesses. This a great choice if you are looking for the best sewing machine for denim for a small creative business.

#6 Singer Quantum Stylist 9960

SINGER | Quantum Stylist 9960 Computerized Portable Sewing Machine with 600-Stitches Electronic Auto Pilot Mode, Extension Table and Bonus Accessories, Perfect for Customizing Projects
  • SINGER COMPUTERIZED SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 portable sewing machine has loads of ease-of-use features to allow you to fulfill your creative dreams Has a large selection of stitches including basic, stretch and decorative stitches for fashion sewing, quilting, home decor and crafting There’s even a selection of fonts to personalize projects
  • AUTOMATIC NEEDLE THREADER: Threading the machine is so easy that you can have the entire machine threaded, from the spool to the needle’s eye, in seconds The built-in needle threader threads the eye of the needle for you, eliminating eye strain and frustration
  • BEST SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 sewing machine has 600 Built-In Stitches including 5 Alphanumeric Fonts and 13 built-in 1-Step Buttonholes with Exclusive Buttonhole Underplate It also has Mirror Imaging and Stitch Elongation providing even more creative possibilities
  • HIGH-SPEED SEWING MACHINE: The SINGER Quantum Stylist 9960 sewing machine has a maximum sewing speed of 850 stitches-per-minute, projects can be sewn quickly
  • SEWING MACHINE ACCESSORIES: A variety of presser feet are included with the sewing machine: All-Purpose Foot, Zipper Foot, Buttonhole Foot with Underplate, Button Sewing Foot, Blind Hem Foot, Satin Stitch Foot, Open Toe Foot, Overcasting Foot, Darning and Embroidery Foot, Rolled Hem Foot, Cording Foot, Straight Stitch/Quilting Foot, Even Feed / Walking Foot 110 volt machine designed for United States and Canadian use only

Manufacturers Specs

  • 850 stitches per minute max
  • 600 built-in stitches
  • 18.2 pounds
  • 7 mm stitch width

What We Like

  • Comes with a large variety of presser feet
  • Automatic needle threader
  • Twin needle settings are handy for topstitching on jeans
  • Extra high presser foot lifter

What We Don’t Like

  • Designed for use in Canada and US only
  • Bobbin winding can be touchy

Our Verdict

This is a good machine for home sewists who want a machine that can do lots of tasks including sewing heavyweight fabrics like denim. It’s heavy, easy to use and the included extension table is helpful.

#7 Rex Walking-Foot Sewing Machine

REX Portable Walking-Foot Sewing Machine (Machine)
  • Made of full cast iron metal.
  • This is ideal for leather or canvas material and jeans.. sews thick enough for all your household project.
  • recommended thread is bonded nylon #69 / needle size 135×17 size 22
  • each machine is being pre tested and shipped with a sewn Leather Sample.

Manufacturers Specs

  • 800 stitches per minute max
  • Straight Stitch Walking Foot Machine
  • 12.6 pounds
  • 6 mm stitch length

What We Like

  • Heavyweight machine sews well through multiple layers of leather and heavy canvas
  • Machines come pre-tested with leather so you know they will work with heavy materials
  • Simple and easy to use

What We Don’t Like

  • Very heavy for a portable machine, but would be fine in a commercial space
  • Runs very quickly so not a good choice for the novice sewist

Our Verdict

This heavyweight walking foot machine is portable so you can take it in an RV or sailboat. Easily handles multiple layers of canvas, sail or leather. Easy to use for a novice. Great choice for a straight stitch machine if you are looking for the best sewing machine for denim and you don’t want to be able to do any other stitches.

#8 Singer 191D-30 Industrial Grade Straight Stitch Machine

SINGER 191D-30 Complete Industrial Commercial-Grade Straight-Stitch Sewing Machine Ideal for Medium to Heavy Fabrics
  • Configuration includes sewing machine head, motor, and completely assembled single-pedal stand
  • Extra-high sewing speed sews almost six times faster than a conventional domestic sewing machine allowing you to complete projects quickly
  • The heavy-duty motor allows you to sew multiple layers of fabric easily
  • Attached knee lifter allows for hands-free raising and lowering of the presser foot
  • Versatile design appeals to a range of straight-stitch sewing applications

Manufacturers Specs

  • Maximum Stitch Speed: 4000 stitches/minute
  • Stitch length: 5 mm
  • Straight stitch machine
  • Features: Includes table

What We Like

  • Extra high knee lift
  • Delivered completely assembled
  • Self-oiling system
  • Tabletop bobbin winder

What We Don’t Like

  • Wired only for use in the USA and Canada
  • Can seem too fast until you get used to the foot pedal

Our Verdict

This is a solid machine that comes fully assembled which can be important for some users. The self-oiling system makes maintenance a bit easier than some other industrial machines.

#9 Juki DDL-8700 Industrial Straight Stitch Machine

JUKI DDL-8700-Servo Industrial Straight Stitch Sewing Machine, Servo Motor
  • Max. Sewing Speed: 5500 stitches/minute
  • Max. Stitch Length: 5mm
  • Unit dimensions (LxWxH): 48 inches by 20 inches by 48 inches
  • Needle: DB X 1, sizes 9-18
  • 110V with quiet servo motor

Manufacturers Specs

  • Max Stitch Speed: 5500 stitches/min
  • Stitch length: 5mm
  • Straight stitch machine
  • Features: Table and knee lifter

What We Like

  • Comes complete with table
  • Knee lifter is a nice feature
  • Quiet motor

What We Don’t Like

Needs to be assembled so if you’re not handy, you may have to hire someone

Our Verdict

Quiet and powerful, this machine is from a well-respected manufacturer. It should provide years of reliable service and is one of our top picks for a straight stitch machine.

#10 Juki TL-2010Q Lockstitch Portable Sewing Machine

Juki TL-2010Q 1-Needle, Lockstitch, Portable Sewing Machine with Automatic Thread Trimmer for Quilting, Tailoring, Apparel and Home Decor
  • Light weight and portable
  • Arm and bed of TL-2010Q is contructed of aluminum die-casting
  • Larger work area – wider handling area than conventional sewing machines
  • Automatic Thread Trimmer
  • Maximum Predetermined Stop Position of the Needle

Manufacturers Specs

  • 1500 stitches per minute max
  • 25.4 pounds
  • 6 mm stitch length
  • Portable Straight Stitch Machine

What We Like

  • Large throat space
  • 2 thread cutters are super helpful
  • Knee Lifter
  • Needle up/down
  • Superfast

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be a bit loud
  • Threading takes a while to figure out

Our Verdict

This quality machine is lightning fast and sews through multiple layers like butter. It’s an excellent choice if you are looking for the best sewing machine for denim and jeans for a creative business.

If you're looking for the best sewing machine for denim, there are a few features you need to have to make sewing this heavy fabric a breeze.

What is A Denim Sewing Machine?

A sewing machine for denim or a sewing machine for jeans is simply a machine with a strong enough motor to be able to sew through multiple layers of thick denim fabric.   

If you want to start sewing jeans, look for a heavy-duty machine that can sew through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics such as denim and canvas without stalling, breaking needles or getting hung up. 

Do You Need a Special Sewing Machine for Denim?

If you’re planning to sew projects on heavyweight fabrics like jeans, jackets, tents and canvas items, you’ll need a machine strong enough to sew through multiple layers without getting stuck.

If you’re looking for the best sewing machine for jeans and you’re a home sewist, there are plenty of machines that will do the job without buying an industrial model.

I personally use my regular Bernina machine when I’m sewing jeans.  I just make sure to have a jeans needle on hand and always test my tension before beginning.

If you’re looking for a denim sewing machine to sew jeans and other heavy-duty projects on a regular basis, you may want to look into an industrial machine that will have a motor powerful enough to plow through even the thickest layers of fabric.

You May Not Need a Denim Sewing Machine if…

If you’re a home sewist, and you have a sturdy sewing machine, you may not need a dedicated sewing machine for jeans.  As long as your machine isn’t the most lightweight on the market, using a jeans needle may be all you need to get started sewing jeans.

Different Types of Sewing Machines for Denim

The type of denim sewing machine you might choose depends on how you plan to use your machine.

Home Sewist

If you’re a home sewing and want to sew the occasional pair of Ginger Jeans (my favorite jeans pattern BTW) or denim jacket, you probably can get by using a heavy-duty home sewing machine.    The best sewing machine for jeans may be the one you already own – outfitted with a denim needle and adjusted tension settings. 

Industrial Sewist

If you’re looking for the best sewing machine for denim because you plan on churning out a lot of projects, an industrial machine is probably the best choice for you.  An industrial sewing machine is made for repeated tasks and will usually have a much stronger motor and a much higher stitch per minute speed.

Important Features to Look For in a Sewing Machine for Denim

If you’re looking for the best sewing machine for denim, you’ll want to take a look at a few key features that will make your sewing life easier.

Strong Motor

A strong and powerful motor will help your needle easily pierce through even the heaviest layers of denim.   If you plan to sew heavyweight fabrics like denim, canvas, and leather on a regular basis, you may want to look at the best industrial sewing machines article for our top picks and reviews.  

Industrial machines have stronger motors and are a good choice for commercial sewing jobs because of their durability, and consistent performance.

Extra-High Presser Foot Lift

Since denim is heavier than other fabrics, multiple layers can really add up in thickness.

A key feature to look for is an extra-high presser foot lifter so you can get your fabric under the presser foot with ease.   Some industrial machines have a handy knee lift that lifts your presser foot leaving your hands free to maneuver your fabric.  

Leveling Foot

Some machines come with a leveling presser foot which helps in sewing over super thick seams.  This is especially helpful when sewing over the intersection of seams because that spot is usually much higher than the rest of the seam.  

A leveling foot keeps your presser foot parallel to the fabric and helps you avoid getting stuck or breaking a needle.

If your machine doesn’t come with a leveling foot, you can use a hump jumper to get you up and over the extra thick part of the seam. 

Straight and Zigzag Stitches

The best sewing machine for jeans really only needs a good even straight stitch.   You’ll use this stitch for both construction and topstitching.

If you don’t own a serger, you’ll need a zig-zag stitch to finish your internal seams.  

Adjustable Needle Position

Being able to move your needle is an important feature that makes even consistent topstitching easier, and will make your jeans look just like you bought them in a boutique instead of made them yourself.

Tips for Sewing Jeans or Denim

  • Use a jeans needle
  • Always pre-wash and dry your denim before beginning your project
  • Use a hump jumper or a Jean-a-Ma-Jig to help you sew across areas where there are multiple layers of denim without getting stuck or skipping stitches. 
  • Hammer places where you have multiple layers to flatten out the denim

What Sewing Machine Needle is Best for Jeans and Denim?

The best needles for sewing denim depend on whether you’re sewing seams or topstitching.  When sewing jeans, you’ll get the best result if you use different needles for construction and topstitching. 

Denim and Jeans Needles

The standard size sewing machine needle for denim and jeans is a 100/16.  For even heavier weight fabrics, use a 110/18.

These needles work on heavy wovens, denim, and canvas.  They have a sharp point and are strong enough to stitch through multiple layers of thick fabric without breaking. 

Topstitching Needles

Topstitching needles come in the following sizes that work for jeans:  80/12, 90/14 and 100/16.  

Topstitching needles have an extra-large eye and a groove to accommodate heavier topstitching thread.

Summary:  Our Top Picks at Each Price Point

Here’s a recap of our favorite choices for Sewing Machine for Denim at each price level.

If you’re a home sewist looking to start sewing your own jeans, there are several quality machines at affordable price points.

If you’re looking for the best sewing machine for denim for an industrial setting, you can expect to pay more to get a quality, durable machine.

The Takeaway:  Which is the Best Sewing Machine for Denim for Me?

If you’re looking for the best sewing machine for denim, you need to decide how you’ll be using the machine.  

If you’re a home sewist, the best sewing machine for jeans may be the one you already own.  Before purchasing a dedicated denim machine, try using Jeans needles in your current machine and experimenting to see if your machine is heavy-duty enough to do the job

If you want the best sewing machine for denim for commercial use, you’ll definitely want to invest in a heavy-duty machine that can do a quality job repeatedly on multiple layers of stiff fabrics like denim and canvas.

Whichever sewing machine for jeans you choose, sewing denim doesn’t have to be a daunting task with the right machine, needles, and patterns.

Happy Creating!

This helpful guide to the beset sewing machine for denim will help you settle on the features you need for the best sewing machine for jeans whether you want to make your first pair, or are looking for an industrial sewing machine for denim.