University of Hertfordshire

Enclothed cognition and hidden meanings in important Ottoman textiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Ben Fletcher
  • Mehlika ORAKÇıOĞLU,
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-375
Number of pages16
JournalTextile: Journal of Cloth and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


This paper illustrates how hidden details in garment design may reveal important clues about the motives of the wearer or designer that are of considerable cultural relevance. We suggest these hidden design features may reflect key psychological factors previously not considered. We illustrate this by doing a multilevel analysis of two important 16th century examples of Ottoman court clothing from the Topkapi Palace Museum. We show that these garments contain early examples of the use of ‘enclothed cognition’ where the designs themselves are likely to have influenced the mind of the wearer. We suggest that the historical-social analysis of clothing may benefit from considering the concealed, as well as the explicit, psychologically relevant design features. We suggest that psychosocial interpretations of clothing may help further our understanding of textile and apparel design more generally, even within an historical context.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in TEXTILE Cloth and Culture on 1 September 2016, available online at:

ID: 9480052