Abstract Cellulose fibres have long been used in the plastics industry as cost-cutting materials. Nowadays they are recognised as a potential replacement for glass fibres for use as reinforcing agents in composite materials. They have a number of certain advantages over glass fibres, such as low cost, high strength-to-weight ratio, biodegradability and ease of processing. In this study crystallisation from the melt of two different isotactic polypropylene matrices (iPP) in the presence of flax ( Linum usitatissinum) fibres of four different types (green flax, dew retted flax, Duralin ® treated flax and stearic acid sized flax) was examined. The effect of processing parameters such as crystallisation temperature and cooling rate was investigated using hot stage optical microscopy. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) was used to investigate the inner morphology of the transcrystalline (TC) layer. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction were used in an attempt to identify the origin of the TC layer in connection with the structural characteristics of the fibres. The effect of transcrystallinity upon the mechanical properties of the interface was assessed using the single fibre fragmentation test. It was found that the interfacial adhesion is improved by the presence of a TC layer.