Sew Fine, LLC

San Francisco


Harness and Saddle Equipment Information

Note: We do not sell sewing machines this is only my opinion on machine I have worked with for many years. Harry

The manufacture of harness and saddle equipment requires that you obtain the correct machine in order to create the desired stitching. The two most common type of Harness stitchers are the needle and awl type and the threaded needle type depending on how thick the goods are and how experienced the operator is. Most people believe that the threaded needle type is easier for beginners to use. If you are interested in considering the purchase of a machine, it is suggested that you send samples of what you intend to sew (including thread) to several dealers listed on the Sew Fine, LLC pages and ask them to send you back a sewn sample done on the machine of choice.

Most sewing machine mechanics agree that when a machine is worn out, it’s worn out and no amount of tightening, adjusting, adapting, or shimming is going to fix it. There’s nothing wrong with the machine except that it’s shot. Either go ahead and get it completely rebuilt or buy a new one.

Many of the dealers advertising on our site have digital pictures of most of sewing equipment listed above. We do not sell standard sewing equipment. We however  customize heavy needle work sewing machines and build custom parts for special applications. And we also develop industrial sewing production techniques (jigs, fixtures, tables) and the like. Please feel free to contact us about industrial consulting or machine modifactions.

Harry Shonteff


Description of Heavy Needle Work Machines

Landis #1

This machine is perhaps one of the oldest stitchers still in use today. This is a threaded needle machine from the late 1800’s. This is a bottom feed machine and is simple to operate and work on.

Landis # 6

Like the Landis # 1, this machine has been in service for over a 100 years throughout the US, Canada, Australia, and England where it was originally manufactured. This machine has a bullet shaped shuttle and will stitch 3/4 inch thick goods with no trouble.

Singer 97-10

Many agree that the 97-10 is the best threaded needle stitcher ever built. This will sew an honest 1" of leather. The presser foot lifts to 1 1/4" high. The machine also features a 10" throat. The 97-10 has a needle feed with a jump foot like the FERDINAND BULL. This extremely heavy duty machine is on a cast ion standing work height stand so you can get large goods into it..

Singer 7 Class

This is my favorite heavy needle work machine! Not only is it extremely strong and heavy duty this large flat bed machine can be found in single needle double needle with and with out pullers,and parts are not hard to find. I feel it is the strongest machine made for saddle and heavy needle work ever made. The machines with pullers are the strongest I have ever seen.

Landis # 3

This is another machine used world wide by harness stitchers. It features an 11 1/2 throat. It is slightly less sophisticated and a less precise machine than the CAMPBELL, from which it seems to have been copied.

Campbell / Randall

The Campbell and its’ clone the Randall are both lock stitch machines with a 9 1/2" throat. They will stitch an honest 3/4 inch of leather goods. They will stitch about 250 to 300 stitches per minute and use an awl and 4 cords.


This is a wide throat machine. Most people agree it is easy to work on and easy to operate.This machine offers a Jump foot needle feed and can use awls 1 through 6.

American Straight Needle

This is one of the smoothest stitchers ever built. It is also quite slow making 250-300 stitches per minute. The machine is very limited since it has only a 3" throat making it nearly worthless for harness and saddle work.


This is more of a production machine stitching 600 stitches per minute. But only about 300 machines were ever built. It will stitch well over an 1" but the factory rebuilt ones we have seen cost over $12,000.

Tippmann Aerostitcher

This is certain to be one of the most innovative machines on the market. The machine and the thread take up are air powered. Presently there are only about 80 machines in operation. Tippmann is going to produce about 300 more some day. This unique machine will sew 3/4" goods.

Nikajima 441 and Juke 441

This machine has a 3/4" lift and will sew approximately 5/8" leather and webbing. The foot and feed needs to be modified to work on leather because the gauge set is quite wide. This is a standard needle feed walking foot machine with a 16" cylinder arm.

Pro 2000

Manufactured on the frame of the Juke 441, this is a 16" cylinder arm and will sew 7/8" leather goods. The Juki will only sew 5/8". The Pro 2000 is a needle feed walking foot machine with a cylinder arm like the Adler 205 and 370 .

Union Lock Stitch:

This is without doubt the best production machine made the world. First made in 1910, the Union sews up to 3/4" and has a 12" throat. It also sews 800 stitches per minute. I believe this is the only NEW needle and awl machine manufactured in the US. This is a production machine and will need more maintenance and adjusting then a slower stitcher.

Adler 205-374

This is considered to be the first heavy cylinder arm walking foot threaded needle machine to be designed. Its forerunner was the 105-64 which was very successful. This is a medium duty machine that will sew 1/2"

Ferdinand Bull

Like the Adler 205-370 and the Pro 2000, the Ferdinand Bull is a heavy threaded needle stitcher with a 14" throat and is built on a 754 Consew or Juki head with a jump foot.

Landis #16

Last but certainly not least is the Landis #16. This is a needle & awl machine, with needle feed. It will sew about 400 stitches per minute. But this great old stitcher may be hard to get parts for.

Sew Fine, LLC
Harry Shonteff
San Francisco,CA
(415)-665-3447 or fax us at (415) 661-4586

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