Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) has been used to obtain TiO2 coatings on three dimensional (3-D) SiC fibre (Nicalon(R)-type) and carbon fibre substrates. Colloidal suspensions of commercially available TiO2 nanoparticles in acetylaceton with addition of iodine were used. The EPD parameters, i.e., deposition time and voltage, were optimised for each fibre type. Strongly adhered TiO2 deposits with high particle packing density were obtained. Scanning electron microscopy observations revealed high penetration of the titania nanoparticles into the fibre preforms. The TiO2 deposits were sintered at 800degreesC for 1 h in order to produce relatively dense and uniform TiO2 coatings covering completely the SiC or carbon fibres. For the carbon fibre/TiO2 system, an effort was made to produce a 3-D titania matrix composite by further infiltration of the porous fibrous preform with TiO2 by slurry dipping and subsequent pressureless sintering. The 3-D carbon fibre reinforced TiO2 matrix composites fabricated contained residual porosity, indicating further infiltration and densification steps are required to produce dense composites of adequate structural integrity. For SiC fibre fabrics, oxidation tests in air established the effectiveness of the TiO2 coating as oxidation protective barrier at 1000degreesC. After 120 h the increase of weight due to oxidation of coated fibres was more than twice lower than that of the uncoated fibres. TiO2 coated SiC fibre preforms are attractive materials for manufacturing hot gas filters and as reinforcing elements for ceramic matrix composites. (C) 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.