Sewing Nylon Webbing Tips: Best Sewing Machine for Nylon

All fabrics are not the same. That is why you need to have different sewing machines on hand to tackle more difficult fabrics. Nylon can be one of those difficult fabrics and they take top machines to get the nylon sewn just right.

What type of sewing machine for nylon webbing? One of the best sewing machines for sewing nylon may be found in all of the Kenmore 158 series. These machines are real workhorses and they go through nylon like it wasn’t even there. But that isn’t the only model that can handle nylon well.

To learn about those and other sewing machines just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information to help you sew nylon a lot better. The information should also help your nylon projects go a lot smoother as well.

Tips for Finding a Sewing Machine That Can Sew Nylon Webbing

One tip for sewing nylon webbing is to think old. Sometimes the older machines are the best for tough fabrics like nylon. The reason behind this logic is that older machines were built tougher than their modern counterparts.

A second tip would be to look at industrial machines. These are powerful sewing machines that leave a professional look while giving you a very strong stitch. In an industrial machine you should have the strength and speed to handle tough nylon.

The next tip that may be of some use is to go on some of the sewing forums and ask. The members of these groups usually have inside information and have the experience you need to guide you to the proper machine.

You can also try top sewing supply stores that handle nylon fabric. They would have a good idea where you can find a top machine to help you with your sewing project. The knowledge experienced sewers have is vital as they can tell you from first hand experience how good one machine is for your nylon project.

Best Sewing Machine for Nylon Webbing


The jury seems to still out on this topic as everyone seems to have their own favorites. One of the machines, or group of machines, that has stood out is the Kenmore 158 series. It seems that just about every model can handle nylon very well.

These machines are well built and have the strength to tackle nylon smoothly so you do not have any hardships when you are sewing. Other machines that handle nylon well are the Babylock Melody and the Sailrite models.

If you come across a vintage machine like the Singer 15-91 or the Rockateer 500a with a cheap price, they are also good machines to use. Finally the Janome, HD1000 & 3000, as well as the Singer 4423 are top quality machines that should handle nylon webbing with ease.

The good news is that you may not have a problem finding a good sewing machine that handles nylon. There are plenty out there. Then if you don’t like the ones mentioned above or cannot find them, there is always the industrial option.

These machines are built tough and are made to handle those fabrics like nylon that are a bit tougher to sew than cotton or polyester.

Other Nylon Strap Sewing Machine Recommendations

If you are looking for sewing machine models, here is the Singer 211G166. It has a walking foot, and it is a heavy duty machine that handles tough fabrics. The classification for this machine is industrial, but it is faster than other machines.

Then if you are not looking for that powerful of a machine, you can try the Singer 66, Singer 15-91, Necchi BU Nova, or a ‘60s Japanese DeLuxe zig-zag. All of these machines have what it takes to work with nylon and not ruin your project.

While it should be easy to find a good sewing machine to handle there is even more good news. A lot of the machines you need are on sale at very low prices. You should be able to find several under $100 with ease.

The trick is, of course, to find one that is in good shape and has been well taken care of. Spending more money to repair the machine just cuts into your savings and wastes a lot of sewing time.

A little time and a little patience will be all you need to find a top machine that handles nylon quite well.

Industrial Sewing Machine for Nylon Webbing


If you are going to be sewing multiple layers of nylon together, you should look at semi or full industrial machines to help you complete your project. These machines are built tough and are made to work on tough sewing projects.

The key to using an industrial machine is to make sure they come with a walking foot. This feature makes sure your fabric is grabbed at the top and the bottom at the same time. Once it grabs the fabric it helps move it through the process smoothly.

Two industrial machines that standout are the Tough Sew 7” & the Tough Sew 9” straight stitch. These machines have the standard features and come with an instruction DVD to help you learn the ins and outs of the working process.

If you are looking for brand names, then Hy Tex is a manufacturer that produces industrial machines. There are a wide range of industrial sewing machine manufacturers out there and who can help you find the right model for you and your nylon sewing needs.

Just do a good internet search to find top brands that sell in your area.

What Size Needle for Sewing Nylon Webbing

Size of the needle is not the only important aspect when sewing nylon. But it is the first one you should look at. The size of needle you want would be about 22. It should be the right size to handle #69 thread. When sewing nylon you want a heavy thread to handle the workload.

The next important aspect of using the right needle is to make sure the needle is new and sharp. Old needles that are dull will not be strong enough to do what you want it to do. Then make sure that before you start sewing nylon, your machine is well oiled and clean.

The reason that a walking foot sewing machine is the one to use when you go industrial is because of the bobbin. Regular sewing machine bobbins are not usually capable of handling the thicker thread you need when sewing nylon.

The final tip here for sewing nylon on an industrial sewing machine is do some practice runs first. Get used to the machine and its pedal. You will want to use scrap material first till you feel you are ready to handle the regular sewing project.

Best Thread for Sewing Nylon Webbing


When you are looking at using thread to sew your nylon webbing, you need to consider where your project is going to be used the most. If it is to be used outside, then you will need a good thread that handles the weather and UV rays well.

If it is going to be indoors, then you need a thread that can handle rubbing and be able to stretch. With that said, there are about 3 style of threads that should be up to the task.

First, there are the lifetime threads that should outlast the fabric. These are strong and handle most fabrics with ease. They survive against pollution, UV rays and a lot more elements including chemical cleaning agents.

Polyester is another thread type that handles the outdoors quite well. They have less shrinkage while fighting back those damaging UV rays. The main drawback to this thread is that its colors will fade to white over time.

Finally, there is nylon thread. It is one of the stronger threads on the market today. Part of its characteristics are that it can stretch when called upon and it is flexible. Its greatest weakness is that it is not a good thread to use when your sewing project is going to spend lots of time outside. It is an indoor thread mainly.

Sewing Heavy Nylon Straps

Most of the requirements are in the equipment. The first thing to do when sewing nylon webbing is to have the right sewing machine for the job. A walking foot industrial sewing machine is probably the best one to have on hand.

Then you want the right thread. #69 bonded nylon thread and you can get it on a cone with little trouble. If you can’t get this thread, then most nylon upholstery thread will be a good substitute.

After you get the thread, you need to select the right needle size. #22 is best but you can get by with a #18 or #20 size needle. The key here is to make sure you install the needle correctly, and that it does not hit on the base plate, presser foot and the rotary hook.

Next you have to wind the bobbin and thread the machine. Double check your bobbin tension and increase it if it is too loose. You want the interlocking stitches to be pulled inside the different layers of the fabric.

Finally, do some practice runs first making sure everything is working just right. Then go slowly at first to get the stitches in the right spots. Just one note here. Not all industrial machines handle tough fabrics.

Some are designed to sew only light materials at very high speeds. So you need to do some research to find the industrial machine that will handle your sewing project.

Sewing Nylon Webbing for Climbing


There is an equation that you can follow to help you find the right sewing strength when you are sewing webbing for climbing. It goes like this: thread strength x number of stitches x stitch factor.

The stitch factor ranges for different applications between 1.5 and 2. Safety harnesses are on the low end of the scale at 1.5. Then the recommended number of stitches is between 8 and 11 per inch.

The number of stitches vary depending on the thickness and weight of the thread. Then you should choose the heaviest bonded nylon your sewing machine can use without creating issues for you.

You use nylon here because of the stretch factor. It is the best thread that has the flexibility and stretch you need when climbing. There is a book out there called On Rope that can provide you with all the details on stitching for strength, etc.

It is written for cavers but its information should be useful for those who do a lot of climbing and need lots of strength in their climbing webbing.

Tips for Sewing Ripstop Nylon

You may not work with just one type of nylon fabric. So here are some tips to guide your work and get good results:

  • 1. Make sure to use a sharp universal needle. A 70/10 should do the trick.
  • 2. Lightweight nylon thread is good but you can get away with using all purpose polyester or nylon threads.
  • ​3. Do not pin the material. Use painter’s tape to help hold the seams while you are sewing.
  • ​4. Keep your sewing straight. The grid lines on the nylon should help guide your sewing aim.
  • ​5. Use sharp scissors to make clean straight cuts all the time. Once cut you should sew those pieces immediately so they do not get damaged.
  • ​6. Use a proper stitch length. You do not want it to be small or short.
  • 7. Reinforce your seams by using a top stitch. This is necessary if the sewing project is going to hold weight.

Some Final Words

It should not be hard to find a good sewing machine to sew your next nylon project. You just have to do a little research to make sure you get the model you need to do the job.

Go old if you cannot find a good machine to handle the task.

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