Understanding the friction mechanism at microscale of fibrous material is important as it is one of the key roles in governing the behaviour of fibre assemblies at meso and macroscale. However, mechanical stress such as tension may also influence the frictional behaviour. In this study the frictional behaviour between fibres under pre-tension is explored. A new experimental setup was successfully developed to measure the friction force between two single aramid fibres at perpendicular contact. Although pre-tension influences the bending stiffness of the fibre, the results show that the effect of pre-tension on the contact length is relatively small. The elastic deformation of the contact dominates over the ‘wrapping effect’, generating the contact area over which the interfacial shear takes place.