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Helly Hansen | The global leader and innovator of technical sports, leisure and work-wear—offers more than 500 individual product lines for men, women and children. It provides technical clothing for all seasons, developed and tested for the extremes. Helly Hansen's Helly Tech garments use both hydrophilic (water-loving molecular chains which pass water vapor to the outside) and micropourous (tiny pores allow water vapor to pass out, without letting rain droplets in) technology. The garments "breathe", helping the wearer to stay warm and dry. Helly Hansen clothing is used to sail the Whitbread Round the World races, compete in the Olympics, climb the world's tallest mountains, trek over Arctic wastes, and tackle the roughest of the North Sea. Windsurfers, sailors, cyclists, anglers, skiers, boarders, and climbers benefit from more than a century of fabric knowledge and technology. Helly Hansen Historical overview
1877—Helly Hansen is officially formed by Captain Helly Juell Hansen.
1878—Helly Juell Hansen presents his collection of oilskin clothing at the Paris Expo, where he won a diploma for excellence and innovation.
1878—Helly Hansen is exported and sold in Sweden and Denmark, and a few years later to England, South Africa, and Chile.
1914—Helly Juell Hansen passes, and his son, Helly Hansen takes over the rains of the family business.
1920's—a new fabric called Linox is developed. The surface is glossy, attractive and non-sticky. Over the next 30 years, the name Linox would transfer to a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) application.
1931—another new fabric, Lin-O-Let, is launched. Very thin and light, it could be made in many colors and used in waterproof leisure clothing for women and children. The trend for outdoor clothing as fashion is born.
1938—Helly Hansen passes, and his son, Leiv Helly Hansen takes over the reins at his age of 24.
1949—A breakthrough for the brand came when Helox was developed. This very thin sheet of translucent PVC plastic was sewn into waterproof coats and hats to make a very comfortable wear. Plarex, a heavyer-duty version of Helox, was developed for work-wear.
1963—Italian researchers discovered how to spin yarn from polypropylene fiber, and were rewarded with a Nobel prize for their inventions. Helly Hansen utilizes the technology, and develops the 3 layer system.
1970's—North Sea oil drilling kicks into gear, and a new demand for technical work-wear arises. Helly Hansen becomes the leader in producing survival suits for offshore workers.
1984—Helly Hansen's own breathable, waterproof fabric system, called Helly Tech is introduced. A Unique coating that simultaneously releases perspiration moisture while preventing outside moisture from penetrating the fabric.
2000—Introduction of a breakthrough emergency breathing system, utilized within survival suits, that provides 2 – 3 minutes of underwater breathing space - enough time to escape from a submerged helicopter.
For 125 years, Helly Hansen has been at the forefront of product development and innovation. Since 1877, when the sea captain Helly Juell Hansen made his first "oilskin" waterproof jackets, the company has pushed the boundaries of fabric technology. Trust, protection and quality were the watchwords... the rest, as they say, is history.
Helly Juell Hansen had been at sea since the age of 15. At his age of 35 he was a respected captain, and he knew how it felt to be soaked to the skin, to be cold and miserable. He'd had enough—warmth for the workers was on the way. Helly and his wife Maren Magrethe gathered a stock of coarse linen and linseed oil. They designed and sewed jackets, trousers, and sou'wester hats for ocean use, then Helly applied oil to the garments and dried them before an open fire. Helly Hanses's waterproofs were a great success. In their first year of production, they manufactured and sold 2000 items, from clothes to taupaulins. Within 5 years, the sales rose to 10,000 items.
The business was officially formed in 1877. Helly Hansen was on the map, but his enquiring mind continually sought to diversify. He knew that the principle of lightweight waterproof fabrics must have multiple applications. The concept of supplying high quality, well priced clothing for outdoors use had become a triumph, and is what drove the company from being the innovator, to being the technological leader it is today.
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