Hand Stitching VS Machine Stitching Leather Crafts - Which is Better?

Two most popular ways to sew in leathercrafts are with a saddle stitching and machine stitching.

Handsewm leathercrafts & Machine Sewn leathercrafts - Which one is stronger and which one you prefer with?

In this blog I'm going to dive into some of the major differences between the two. I'll talk about pros and cons for both stitches and I am not going to beat or harsh on machine sewn leather goods. We can't denied that they have a place for ultimately demands for the market and customers.

Okay, let's dive in and go over the differences now.

Machine Stitching

In the 18th century, with the beginning of the industrial revolution, the first mechanical sewing patent appeared. 

Nowadays machine sewn products appeared everywhere in our daily life. In fact, machine sewn products isn' bad and it has big advantage over hand sewing, that's speed. Therefore, the machine tends to be the default for most manufacturers.

With machine stitching, customers can't control the quality of threads that used to sew theirs leather goods. Some manufacturers choose cheaper and thinner threads, which make products weaker. Even though with high quality and strong threads, machin stitching is less durable than hand stitching, cuz the way machine stitching work, known as lock stitch.

What's lock stitch?

For a lock stitch, two separate spools of thread are used. A sewing machine passes a small loop of thread through the top of the leather which interlocks with the thread from the bottom of the leather.

To illustrate this further, see the sketch below and drew an image in your mind,  of which the needle on the sewing machine popping through the leather. Each time it emerges, it creats a little loop that another thread is pulled through.

Machine is faster than any person. Not only big manufacturers use machine to sew, some small shop or leathercraft lovers use machine to sew larger goods like bags.

Hand Stitching

Hand stitching is an art form that is over 20,000 years old. The first sewing needles were made of bones or animal horns, and the first thread was made of animal sinew. 

We usually recommend traditional saddle stitching way in our tutorial videos. The term "saddle stitching" originated from the saddle makers who employed the technique. I won't get back too further for the origins of saddle stitching here. 

How I learn more about the saddle stitching? I introduced fully about how to learn saddle stitching for beginners in Basic Leather Sewing Methods - Time Saver this blog. 

Hand sewing sacrifices time and speed for the sake of quality. Hand sewist appreciate the sweat, tears and blood in the process, ans that's part of its charm.

Each time you pick up a hand sewn bag or a DIY bag kit, you will understand the its special meaning for the person who made it.

That's exactly why we make our leather kits. You can feel our passion, hearts and careness on our kits.

Why hand sewn crafts is stronger than machine sewn crafts?

Saddle stitching provides the greatest strength and security when it comes stitching materials together. In addition to using thicker thread with hand stitching, each stitch is made of two strong, independent stitches. 

To illustrate this further, see the sketch below and drew an image in your mind.


Unlike the lock stitch which will completely unravel, if a thread does break, the saddle stitch will still hold together.

The look of the line

Machine sewn items tend to have a straight stitch which continues along its path with little to no variation. Hand sewn leather meawhile will have that pleasant overlap and seams on both sides are neat and professional.

Why POPSEWING™ Make DIY Kits and Encourage You to Handsew Your Bag?

We always believe a wonderful bag should be with affection and love. We hope our DIY bag kits could provide everyone a chance to make a special gift by themselves. 

We want each piece that our customers receive to stand as a testment that craftsmanship is alive and well. While the rest of the world insists on "speed" and "cheap", we think in terms of "quality" and "humanity".

In the end, leave a comment and tell me, handsewn vs. machine sewn, which way you prefer with?


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