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Helly Hansen Ski Wear

Helly Hansen gear has now been around for over 130 years and today their technical clothing is used by world-class sailors, skiers and adventurers who dedicate their lives to pitting their skills and determination against natures forces. These people demand protection, performance and excellence from their technical clothing and Helly Hansen provides it.

The story of Helly Hansen starts in 1877 when Norwegian sea captain Helly Juell Hansen returned from many years at sea to begin the manufacture of oil skin clothing made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil. Within a short time, he and his wife Maren Margarethe, were producing these oil skin waterproofs in their 000's and began exporting to other countries.

In 1949 Helly Hansen hit on the idea of sewing a thin sheet of translucent PVC plastic into jackets and so was borne the waterproof jacket which took over from oil based outerwear very quickly. Within a short time production rose of 30,000 jackets per month such was the demand.

In the early 1960's the original fleece was also developed by Helly using fiberpile - something that it continues to develop almost 50 years on. This new insulation layer was warm, lightweight and fast-drying and ideal for wearing under the waterproof layer. It was soon embraced by workers because it offered extraordinary insulation against the cold, and ventilated well during hard, physical work. It even protected against snow and light rain, staying extremely durable and warm after many washes.

Later in the 70's Helly also developed the LIFA fabric which is still used in many of their garments today. This fabric incorporated the technology to draw moisture (sweat) away from the surface of the skin so that it would not cool and leave the wearer cold and vulnerable.

In 1980, the Helly Tech fabric technology was launched - when their heralded waterproofs also became breathable as well. This meant that anyone who participated in high-octane outdoor activities could expect their clothing to help moderate their body heat. This technology had a profound effect on the outdoor industry - one that is still prevalent today - thanks to Helly Hansen.

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