This is a question we get often when people are considering an Innova longarm.
People often have this question because they have heard from some longarmers that their machine only likes a certain kind of thread. One of our favorite features of the Innova machine is the patented rotary tensioner. The rotary tensioner is what makes it possible for Innovas to run nearly any longarm thread you choose. From delicate threads like 100 weight silk, to specialty threads like metallic and the clear monopoly thread and everything in between.
Other longarm brands use disk tension, which is just two smooth disks pressing on the thread to add resistance. If the thread is very thin, delicate or has any texture changes like some cotton and variegated threads this method of tension can be inconsistent or lead to constant breakage.
With rotary tension on the Innova, the resistance for tension on the thread, comes from the thread itself. This is because the thread wraps around the rotary wheel roughly 3 times. While stitching, the rotary wheel is spinning, and the beehive spring keeps a gentle consistent pressure on the threads. This is achieved with our high-performance rotary tension, available here:
The high-performance rotary tension assembly has high-density composite discs in place of felt, requiring no lubrication, and virtually no maintenance.
The thread sliding against itself (rather than 2 smooth disks), in combination with pressure from the spring creates the tension needed for perfect stitches. This tensioner will not slip or “fall out of adjustment” and since half the battle is accommodated by the thread rubbing against itself the tension practically self-adjusts when changing threads.
This is as close to automatic tension as you can get!
When dramatically changing thread weights, some minor adjustments are necessary, we cover these in our classes and have a very easy to follow step by step guide to perfect tension right in the education section of our website. Here is our guide and video:
At Accomplish Quilting we carry a variety of thread brands and options, all easily used on your Innova! Check out our store online or stop in to see the collection!