In this study, jute fabrics were modified by alkali, micro-emulsion silicon (MS) and fluorocarbon based agents (FA) in order to enhance the interfacial adhesion between the polyester matrix and the jute fiber. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and contact angle measurements were used to characterize fiber surfaces. The effects of various surface treatments on the mechanical and morphological of jute/polyester composites were also studied. All surface treatments were shown to improve the tensile, flexural strengths and interlaminar shear strengths of the composites. Moreover, the maximum improvement in the mechanical properties was obtained for the FA treated jute/polyester composites. SEM micrographs of the tensile fracture surface of jute/unsaturated polyester composites also exhibited improvement of interfacial and interlaminar shear strengths by the alkali, MS and FA treatments of jute fibers. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.