Dry cleaning: what if we change the French name for dry cleaners?

Account and food for thought
May 7, 2020 by
Dry cleaning: what if we change the French name for dry cleaners?
INFORUM, Elsa Kopp

"Quand je serai grand, je serai teinturier" (When I grow up I want to be a dry cleaner)

Few children have this wish… Yet, our shops are now modern, bright, and sometimes linked to national chains. And our customers are mostly from the upper socio-professional category. 

Another negative profession feature is the flagrant lack of courses with qualifying training. Some nice initiatives emerge here and there, but there is no national cohesion. In concrete terms, there is work available in our companies, but not enough trained candidates to answer this demand. 

What ways for improving?


Highlight the profession by building a qualifying training, like all other recognized craftsmen and shopkeepers: hairdressers, bakers, butchers, plumbers, pharmacists… Our profession is among the few professions that don’t have recognition through qualifying training.


Change the profession image by finding a new name. 
By instinct or by strategy, big national chains try to impose a brand in the mind of consumers and hide the dry cleaning notion. You don’t go to the dry cleaner’s, but you go to Kunz, Sequoia, Baleo, Koala, Aqualogia, Colporteur...

        As we wait that the profession organizes itself and decides to create a national training course, each dry cleaner must act daily at his level to improve his image. 

        First, by communicating more on the fact that the profession needs and hires qualified staff, and not only pressers. We must highlight the technical and various aspects of the job: customer care, textile care.

        Then, by conveying the dry cleaning name as primary identity. The word “pressing” comes from the English language and doesn’t mean much, or maybe for football fans. The English language is more logical and rational with “dry cleaner” or “laundry”, but the name “pressing” is not used.

        "Pressing" (dry cleaning) analysis & etymology

        • Dates back to 1930.

        • Comes from the English language and sounds modern (in 1939) and allows to "do like the Americans".

        • Linked to the “pressing” action related to ironing. As in “pressing iron”.

        • So the word “pressing” is etymologically and psychologically linked to ironing only. Who really likes ironing and would make it for a living?

        • With this analysis, we can see that the “pressing” is linked to ironing more than cleaning and caring for clothes.

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        "Teinturier" (dyer) analysis & etymology

        • Dates back to 11th century. 

        • Word with a more “professional” connotation but without any direct link with cleaning.

        • Linked to textile dying.

        • The association between “teinturier” and textile care dates back to 1853.  

        • Today, the inconvenience is that a "teinturier" working in a "pressing" is a notion that may be perceived as obsolete,  and is not necessarily adapted to our society lifestyles.

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        Towards a collective reflection and rallying?

                    As you have probably understood, there is no obvious answer to this question: "what if we change the French name for dry cleaners?

                    Only some ideas...
                    We could start a “contest” on the subject on the social networks for example, in the form of a collective reflection to gather ideas and create a consensus about the profession future
                    Of course it wouldn’t be easy, the administrative obligations would probably complicate the simple official name change. Besides, the cohesion has never been our profession strength. Unfortunately, it is rather “every dry cleaner for himself”. In such a process, our professionals unions need to be stronger, bolder and more combative. But they can do that only if everyone is involved. United we stand.


                    This being said, dry cleaners may already star communicating differently. With the objective of conveying a modern and attractive image to their customers and also new employees, partners, buyers...

                    Today’s tools allow them to implement:
                    - wise communication to a precise target by email or text message (notifications for orders ready for example)
                    - pick up demand tools through website and smartphone
                    - quick and efficient reception 
                    - the durability of our shops in relation with the profession: clean environment 

                    Without forgetting the keys to everything: smile, kindness and joie de vivre...
                    Dry cleaning: what if we change the French name for dry cleaners?
                    INFORUM, Elsa Kopp May 7, 2020
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