Abstract The presented work focuses on a methodology to characterise strain rate dependent strength and elastic properties of textile reinforced composites in laminate through-thickness direction. Here, for the characterisation L-shaped beam specimens are used. The investigated composite is a fabric reinforced thermoplast made of hybrid E-glass/polypropylene yarns. The analytical solution for the determination of the through-thickness tensile strength as proposed by Lekhnitskii and Shivakumar is verified by means of an optical deformation analysis and is extended for thew determination of the through-thickness elastic modulus. Finally, the possibility of the strain rate dependent characterisation is investigated and a Johnson–Cook based modelling approach is used to represent the apparent strain rate dependency of the through-thickness failure onset. The methodology is successfully used to capture the material strain rate effects with the according strength values and model parameters over a strain rate range of 10 −4 s −1 to 10 s −1 as well as the elastic modulus.