Abstract In this work we present a method for fabrication of embedded waveguides using a class of organically modified silicates (ORMOSILs) with low organic content and glass like properties. The manufacturing of the ORMOSILs was done by a fast sol–gel method. This method allows for preparation of materials with finely controlled optical and mechanical properties. Optical waveguides with width and thickness ranges from a few micrometers up to hundreds of micrometers were fabricated. They were prepared using clad and core layers with tailored refractive indices over a wide range. The optical and mechanical performances of such waveguides are currently under investigation.