To understand the effect of alkali pre-treatment on the dyeing of lyocell fabrics, samples are pre-treated with 0.0-7.0 mol dm-3 NaOH using a pad-batch process and then dyed with different types of reactive dyes. Exhaustion, fixation, and visual colour strength (K/S values) are measured. It is observed that sodium hydroxide pre-treatment significantly improves the colour yield, exhaustion, and fixation for all dyes used. Highest K/S values are obtained when the fabrics are pre-treated with 2.0-2.5 mol dm-3 NaOH. Cross-sectional analysis shows that below this optimum concentration the core fibres in the yarn are not dyed; at optimum concentration all fibres in yarn cross-section are homogeneously dyed. Cross-sectional analysis shows that as the pre-treatment concentration of NaOH increases above 2.5 mol dm-3, the fibres change progressively from a circular to angular cross-section, forming a solid unit. The decrease in K/S above the treatment concentration of 2.5 mol dm-3, though the %E and %F remains almost constant, is attributed to the distribution of dye over a larger surface area of the outer fibres in the yarn cross section, forcing the K/S at Λmax to decrease.