I had written a post about the availability of the Chinese leather patcher stitching machine from a company in Canada – now I hear of a company in Idaho that is offering the machine for only $189.00! It’s a hand-cranked machine, I’ve been told that it is used by Chinese shoe-repair-people who carry it on their back from town to town. They clamp it down to a table in the next town and get down to business!
I love the stitches that this machine makes; they can be oh-so-tiny, or much longer with just a twist of a screw. You’ve just got to get extra-coordinated, propelling the piece getting stitched under the presser foot while rotating the wheel with your right hand.
The machine is available from:
The machine comes with a spool of #69 thread, which you can use for stitching uppers with.
For stitching soles to shoes, the thickest thread that this machine can handle is #135. I stitch around the sole twice since this size thread is a little thinner than the 207 that I usually use. The needles you need for stitching with #135 is size 22/140; they can be purchased from this site – 10 for around $2.00.
Thread in both #69 and #135 are available from this company also, in about a dozen colors. I don’t think you can find smaller spools of thread like these anywhere else. The 1/2-1-pound spools available elsewhere would last you many lifetimes, so I think purchasing these smaller spools is the way to go. I better put in my Last Will and Testament who is to be the recipient of all my unused spools of thread, because there will be a lot of them left!
There can be a problem with the presser foot leaving marks on the leather, but I recently read a facebook post describing how coating the foot with “Tool Magic” rubber coating material can alleviate that problem. I have ordered a jar of it, perhaps I’ll sell small quantities of it for dipping presser feet in, or else that jar will be sitting around for my beneficiaries to deal with too.
The machine comes with a 3-leg holder to mount the machine on. I prefer to bolt it to a 2 x 4 board, then clamp it to the table, as shown in the photo above.
If you purchase one, I’d love to know how it’s working for you!
There are youtube videos showing you how to use these machines, here are a few links: