In conventional short fibre reinforced metal matrix composites, the quest is for a method of processing that will provide a homogeneous and preferably random arrangement of fibres. In contrast, recently developed contiguity models for multiphase composites on the one hand, and finite element modelling of structures on the other, independently predict that the modulus enhancement provided by short-fibre reinforcement can be improved if the fibres are arranged in a cellular structure. Furthermore, provided the metallic phase is continuous, the toughness of the composite may also thereby be enhanced. This paper, which is part of an attempt to explore the question of reinforcement arrangements, presents a method for making ceramic preforms for MMCs in which a polymeric foam is used to position the fibres in cellular array. The polymer is then removed by pyrolysis and the preform of fibres is strengthened by sintering. During high temperature sintering, phase changes and grain growth degraded the fibre. Methods of increasing the compressive strength of the preform by incorporation of alumina particles and by subsequent infiltration are described and compared.