Maleic anhydride functionalized polymers were used as compatibilizer in jute fabric reinforced polypropylene- and polyethylene-based composites. Composites were produced from pristine jute fabric, alkaline-treated jute fabric and compatibilizer solutions pre- impregnated jute fabrics. Polypropylene-grafted maleic anhydride and a random terpolymer of ethylene, acrylic ester and maleic anhydride were used as compatibilizer for polypropylene and polyethylene, respectively. The effect of alkaline treatment and pre-impregnation on mechanical, water absorption and morphological properties of composites were investigated. Both alkaline treatment and pre-impregnation increased the mechanical properties and reduced the water uptake of composites. The highest improvement in mechanical properties and the highest reduction in water uptake values were achieved when alkaline treatment and pre-impregnation were used together for both matrix types. Tensile strength of pristine jute fabric reinforced polypropylene- and polyethylene-based composites increased at about 90% and 40% when alkaline treatment and pre-impregnation were used together, respectively.