The Ferdco Pro 6/6 has been hugely popular in the marketplace since it was first built in 1999. And there’s no question why–this is one sexy sewing machine!
I don’t own one, but often covet the one at our local custom bootmaker’s shop. It’s definitely on my list of “must have machines” for someday. This is a heavy duty harness stitcher or saddle stitcher designed for sewing multiple layers of thick leather together. The sewing thickness possible is 7/8 inches; and the throat depth is 9.5 inches–there’s plenty of room to maneuver your piece. This is a cylinder arm style, lockstitch sewing machine. So it only sews a straight harness-style stitch.
If you’re going for speed, this is probably not your best choice. It sews up to a speed of 400 stitches per minute. But when you’re working on thick leather, you need superior control over your stitching. Using a lower speed machine helps achieve that control.
I’ve seen the Ferdco Pro 6/6 used for heavy harness, bridles and halters, motorcycle bags, saddle skirt, chaps, holsters and gun belts, and historical reenactor supplies including Medieval armor, archery quivers, buckets, cases and more. And you can move from thick to thin leather with little or no tension adjustments needed. Of course, if you have other lighter materials like upholstery fabric, nylon webbing or tent canvas to sew, it will go right through with no problems. Many craftsmen who use this machine specialize in lighter materials like notebook covers, vests and such.
I love that you can run it by electricity or by the hand crank. Very handy for old-timey demonstrations and reenactments. Also very handy for quick armor and tent repairs on the battlefield (you know, no electricity in the 14th century.) It even sounds old-fashioned with the ka-chunk, ka-chunk of the flywheel and gears.
Now, if you’re used to sewing leather with two hands available to guide the materials, it might be tricky getting used to cranking with your right hand and guiding with your left. I have heard of some people rigging the hand crank to a foot pedal, though. Users don’t seem to have any problems making modifications to suit their needs. It’s easy to do that when all the parts are mechanical, not computerized.
Here are the Ferdco Pro 6/6 Technical Specifications:
- Make – Ferdco
- Model – #6/6
- Type – Cylinder-Arm
- Classification – Heavy Saddle & Harness Stitcher
- Foot Lift – 1 inch
- Sewing thickness – 7/8 inches
- Throat Depth – 9 1/2 inches
- Shuttle Style – Oscillating
- Bobbin Style – Barrel
- Needle System – 331LR
- Needle Sizes – 200, 230, 250
- Thread Sizes – 138, 207, 277, 346, 415
- Speed – up to 400 SPM
- Power – 110V
What should you pay and where can you get one?
There are only a few places you can buy a Ferdco Pro 6/6 online and it’s currently listed right around $6000. I recommend you look at the prices at AllBrands.com. They usually have the lowest prices on any site, and they have price matching policies.
The best thing I love about them is their excellent customer service. It’s where I buy my machines, accessories, supplies, replacement parts and more. Whenever I have questions, it’s easy to contact an assistant by phone or email. They sometimes offer special sales and free shipping promotions, too.
Dont be fooled by their website. These folks are industrial sewing machine experts. While the AllBrands website does carry related categories of domestic items like irons, lighting, sewing tables, even vacuums. (I’ve always wondered why sewing machines and vacuums always seem to go together.) You can also rely on them to provide great information and a completely updated, secure shopping cart.
If you run a saddlery, leather or upholstery business or work on related crafts and you sew lots of heavy-duty fabric, canvas or nylon webbing, this powerful model should suit you nicely. (And if you get one…send me a photo to drool over, okay?)