A simple method to develop TiO2, Ag or Au-doped TiO2 thin films on cotton textiles for advanced applications, is reported. The homogeneous TiO2 thin films have been deposited on cotton textiles by using sol-gel method at low temperature (100° C), whereas Ag and Au nanoparticles were then deposited on the pre-existent TiO2 films by photoreduction. The Ag/TiO2 covered cotton fibres show multichromic behaviour (grey colour under visible light and brown colour upon ultraviolet light exposure) as well as photoactivity. The Au-TiO2 film coated the cotton textile produces a purple colour with excellent self cleaning properties. The original and treated fibres have been characterized by several techniques (SEM, HRTEM, FTIR, Raman, UV–vis spectroscopy and XRD).