A brief review has been presented on the existing methods to enhance the durability of lignocellulosic fibers (LCFs) for manufacturing composites for engineering applications. The free hydroxyl groups of the cellulose chains within LCFs tend to attract water molecules in moist environment, which may cause the fibers to swell and the cellulose chains to lose their integrity due to hydrolysis and oxidation imparted by the actions of biogenic enzymes or chemical factors, such as acidity, alkalinity, and salinity or UV irradiation. This study mainly highlights those technologies that present the modifications of cellulose main chain within the LCFs to improve the degradation resistance and mechanical strength. Detailed pros and cons of those chemical modifications have also been presented in this study with possible applications of the composites with special reference to durability. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.