In the paper we present the results of our research on optical fiber sensors embedded into composite material samples. We investigate the influence of the lamination process, axial orientation of an optical fiber sensor and coating of a fiber on stress monitoring of a composite material. In the paper we present two approaches to the case of composite condition monitoring, using a polarimetric fiber optic sensor as well as fiber Bragg gratings. We also present experimental evidence that interaction between a composite material and fiber optic sensors is very significant and depends on many factors such as fiber optic axial orientation and the coating layer surrounding an optical fiber. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.