Al2O3 nanoparticles were used for fabrication of multilayer nanocomposite film deposition on cationic cotton fabrics by electrostatic self-assembly to improve the mechanical, UV-protection and flame retardancy properties of cotton fabrics. Cotton fabric surface was modified with a chemical reaction to build-up cationic charge known as cationization. Attenuated Total Reflectance Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy were used to verify the presence of deposited nanolayers. Air permeability, whiteness value, tensile strength, UV-transmittance and Limited Oxygen Index properties of cotton fabrics were analyzed before and after the treatment of Al2O3 nanoparticles by electrostatic self-assemblies. It was proved that the flame retardancy, tensile strength and UV-transmittance of cotton fabrics can be improved by Al2O3 nanoparticle additive through electrostatic self-assembly process. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.