• Fur Affinity Forums are governed by Fur Affinity's Rules and Policies. Links and additional information can be accessed in the Site Information Forum.

Best sewing machine? What do you use?

Hello!
I'm thinking of buying my own sewing machine as soon as I can and I'll be starting to save up and searching for deals.
What do you use with faux fur? I mainly deal with minky and faux fur so something sturdy and smart, but not *too* much.
And affordable all-terrain sewing vehicle is more of what I'm looking for haha

What do you use? If you could buy a sewing machine what would you buy?
 

smolmuffin

A teeny muffin
I currently have a Brother XM2701. I have no experience with sewing fur but the machine has seen some use with other projects. Its a beginner friendly machine (for the most part... I can't figure out how to trigger the stretch stitches and I've looked everywhere for directions) I can see it working well with faux fur and similar fabrics.

Something else to keep in mind is having the proper needle type and thread. Certain fabrics benefit greatly from specialized needles and thread. These should be easy to find online, the machine instruction manual will point you towards the specifics. Make sure you check these instructions as a lot of machines might break or not function correctly if you use a thread that is too thick or thin. The included needles will work with most fabrics tho.

You might benefit from a machine designed to work with heavy weight fabrics but a lot of general use ones should be able to handle fur.

Edit: learning how to use the knobs that adjust tension and width... All of that fun stuff is very important as well.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Janome, Pfaff, Viking, any mashine that has a steel inner chassis and gear train. Singer has only one that I will endorse, it shows on the package that it has a steel chassis inside, goes for $199 USD, I think. The 4452 is a very nice Singer, all metal frame.

Also, any of the older all metal "Heavy" machines from the 50's and 60's such as Brother and Kenmore for example, probably comes in a cabinet. If you have someone local that can give it a tuneup, those make great faux fur machines.

Another suggestion is the (in)famous "Sailrite" sewing machines. They're meant to sew sails so you know they will laugh at faux fur. One last option is a used but still good condition industrial sewing machine. I have a Nakajima Rex, a Singer-pattern machine that will sew anything you can get under the presser foot.

Just be sure to pass on the Wally*Mart $99 Singers - they will not last.
 

sewingempire

New Member
Hello! I'm thinking of buying my own sewing machine as soon as I can and I'll be starting to save up and searching for deals. What do you use with faux fur? I mainly deal with minky and faux fur so something sturdy and smart, but not *too* much. And affordable all-terrain sewing vehicle is more of what I'm looking for haha What do you use? If you could buy a sewing machine what would you buy?

If I were you, I would have gone for Brother Sewing Machine which is top-rated these days.
 

Vesper The Coyusky

Well-Known Member
For me I used to use a Kenmore Sewing Machine from the 1990s. Now I use a high-end Baby Lock BLG Sewing Machine for my first fursuit. It's expensive, but's the best sewing machine. It threads the needle itself, which is a perk I love. For you, I would definitely put your money towards a Singer sewing machine. There are fursuit makers I have talked to that always use a Singer sewing machine. The Singer Heavy Duty sewing machines are $150-$200, but there really good from the makers I have seen use it. But if that's too much for you, I would go with a Brother Sewing Machine also as a last resort. That's just my opinion.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Here's a good way to look at it; if you're buying your machine from a discount big box retailer, it's probably junk. If you go to an actual sewing center or fabric store, they will let you know what will sew faux fur without blowing up in the middle of a suit. I think $200-$250 would be the very minimum a good machine would cost.
 

WisePati

Member
I collect vintage sewing machines. For doing fursuits I would use a semi industrial with a zigzag. For an older machine I would recommend a Pfaff 130.
You need all metal if you can find it and a strong motor. Be sure the presser foot lifts high enough to get your sewing under it.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Just an observation: Any used machine should be tuned up by a professional before use. I have observed old machines that literally self-destructed inside due to the old lubricant drying up and the machine ran dry. Most shops are pretty reasonable on tune-up costs. Older machines will probably need a new drive belt and a new bobbin winding rubber wheel. Wheels (or tires) are about $7.00 USD on Amazon. When I brought my Nakajima Rex industrial machine home, it was not happy at all. I took it in to be tuned up, cost $150 USD IIRC. Keep in mind, it's an industrial machine. They went through it, gave it a full tune up and timing adjustment, set the clutch and fixed the belt. Runs like new afterward. Well worth the money, especially since I got the machine for free and it looks almost new.

Also, I helps to keep the machine oiled on a regular basis. Keep the machine happy and your sewing will go so much easier.
 

WisePati

Member
Just an observation: Any used machine should be tuned up by a professional before use. I have observed old machines that literally self-destructed inside due to the old lubricant drying up and the machine ran dry. Most shops are pretty reasonable on tune-up costs. Older machines will probably need a new drive belt and a new bobbin winding rubber wheel. Wheels (or tires) are about $7.00 USD on Amazon. When I brought my Nakajima Rex industrial machine home, it was not happy at all. I took it in to be tuned up, cost $150 USD IIRC. Keep in mind, it's an industrial machine. They went through it, gave it a full tune up and timing adjustment, set the clutch and fixed the belt. Runs like new afterward. Well worth the money, especially since I got the machine for free and it looks almost new.

Also, I helps to keep the machine oiled on a regular basis. Keep the machine happy and your sewing will go so much easier.

Great points! I took a sewing machine repair class so that helped a lot. I always examine a new machine I get. Old grease and oil is no good. Use a good quality grease for sewing machines on the gears. Oil the bobbin area regularly and keep it clean from lint. I do my own maintenance but if I run into a sticky issue I take it to a trusted repair service. Be sure the electrical parts are safe.
I sew quilts so do a lot of sewing but I think furry stuff makes more lint. I have handcrank machines and treadles as well as electric. I am a member of a number of vintage sewing machine groups.
And you can find good used industrial machines that have been serviced. Toledo Industrial Sewing Machine comes to mind.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
Great points! I took a sewing machine repair class so that helped a lot. I always examine a new machine I get. Old grease and oil is no good. Use a good quality grease for sewing machines on the gears. Oil the bobbin area regularly and keep it clean from lint. I do my own maintenance but if I run into a sticky issue I take it to a trusted repair service. Be sure the electrical parts are safe.
I sew quilts so do a lot of sewing but I think furry stuff makes more lint. I have handcrank machines and treadles as well as electric. I am a member of a number of vintage sewing machine groups.
And you can find good used industrial machines that have been serviced. Toledo Industrial Sewing Machine comes to mind.
Sewing fursuits makes its own type of a mess. The fibers from the fur get into and onto everything. Think of cat fur on steroids. Now, think of that only using a serger with the trimmer up/in use. A serger is probably the best way to seam a fursuit, using the ladder (or flatlock) stitch. It involves loosening the needle tension drastically and adding tension on the lower looper needle. In essence, it makes a butt join that once opened, pulled flat and brushed, is invisible. Still figuring out how to post that pdf somewhere that won't draw a bajillion hits a day.

My Nakajima Rex is a high-end industrial use machine, basically a copy of a Singer Industrial layout machine. Every bit as tough and Singer presser feet and bobbins work in it. Just takes up a butt-tonne of space with the table that carries the motor, clutch and speed treadle.
 

WisePati

Member
Sewing fursuits makes its own type of a mess. The fibers from the fur get into and onto everything. Think of cat fur on steroids. Now, think of that only using a serger with the trimmer up/in use. A serger is probably the best way to seam a fursuit, using the ladder (or flatlock) stitch. It involves loosening the needle tension drastically and adding tension on the lower looper needle. In essence, it makes a butt join that once opened, pulled flat and brushed, is invisible. Still figuring out how to post that pdf somewhere that won't draw a bajillion hits a day.

My Nakajima Rex is a high-end industrial use machine, basically a copy of a Singer Industrial layout machine. Every bit as tough and Singer presser feet and bobbins work in it. Just takes up a butt-tonne of space with the table that carries the motor, clutch and speed treadle.
Oh yes! Quite a mess. I have sewn some fur for other applications and I agree that a serger would be a great way to go because it would both sew and finish. Or an industrial overlock. They will have a more powerful motor. However they won't make the same stitches. Great ideas!
 
Top