AbstractCellulose fibers obtained from the textile industry (lyocell) were investigated as a potential reinforcement for thermoset phenolic matrices, to improve their mechanical properties. Textile cotton fibers were also considered. The fibers were characterized in terms of their chemical composition and analyzed using TGA, SEM, and X-ray. The thermoset (non-reinforced) and composites (phenolic matrices reinforced with randomly dispersed fibers) were characterized using TG, DSC, SEM, DMTA, the Izod impact strength test, and water absorption capacity analysis. The composites that were reinforced with lyocell fibers exhibited impact strengths of nearly 240 Jm-1, whereas those reinforced with cotton fibers exhibited impact strengths of up to 773 Jm-1. In addition to the aspect ratio, the higher crystallinity of cotton fibers compared to lyocell likely plays a role in the impact strength of the composite reinforced by the fibers. The SEM images showed that the porosity of the textile fibers allowed good bulk diffusion of the phenolic resin, which, in turn, led to both good adhesion of fiber to matrix and fewer microvoids at the interface.