How to Backstitch on a Leather Sewing Machine

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When sewing leather, the needle creates a permanent hole in the material. This means that when you backstitch or back tack, it’s incredibly important that your backstitches sink directly into the holes you already created. This will give your leather piece a polished and professional look. Luckily, we have a great trick for this. We’ll show you a useful technique to ensure that your backstitches match up with your forward stitches perfectly for beautiful-looking leather goods.

Are you ready to learn our sewing technique for sinking backstitches into your existing stitch holes? Here’s the big secret: You don’t actually backstitch at all! In fact, you never touch your reverse lever. Here’s a quick rundown: Set your forward stitch length as normal. Once you’re happy with your stitch length, begin sewing your leather piece. After two or three stitches you need to back tack to lock your stitches in place. With the needle up and out of your leather assembly, lift the presser foot and pull the leather forward slightly. Once you have the needle positioned over the closest stitch hole, lower the presser foot and sink the needle into the hole.

You’ll repeat this process for the next one or two stitches until you’ve sewn back over your forward stitches. Once you’re back at your beginning stitch, you can sew in forward as normal and you’ve locked your stitches in place — without having to set your reverse stitch length!

We’re demoing this technique using the Ultrafeed® LSZ Sewing Machine. But this leather sewing trick applies to basically any sewing machine. Watch the video below to learn how to sew an equal backstitch in leather.

Another backstitch workaround is to rotate your work 180 degrees and then sew back across your beginning stitches to lock them in place. This avoids having to lift your presser foot, move your leather forward, and carefully position the needle above your previously made holes. This technique only works on small pieces that can be fully rotated under the sewing machine arm. Before you lift your presser foot and rotate your work, make sure your needle has started to come back up about 1/8 inch from its deepest position to ensure you’ve completed the stitch.

We hope you found this leather sewing tips video helpful! Do you have any leather sewing advice to share? Post your leather sewing tips in the comments section below to share your knowledge with other DIYers getting into leatherwork.