The morphology of gel-spun polyethylene fibres prior to hot-drawing, depends on the spinning conditions and the extraction process. Paraffin oil containing fibres spun at relatively low spin temperatures and high take-up speeds show a c-axis orientation parallel to the fibre axis due to shish-kebab formation in the spinline. The extraction of the paraffin oil is accompanied by stresses leading to morphological changes. For fibres spun at low take-up speeds and/or high spin temperatures this leads to a craze-like disturbance and a preferential c-axis orientation perpendicular to the fibre axis. Fibres with this type of orientation exhibit an equatorial SAXS maximum corresponding to a periodicity of 12 nm ascribed to regular packing of 12 nm thick lamella oriented with the c-axis perpendicular to the fibre axis. The formation of extended chain crystals in the case of low spin temperatures and high take-up speeds is accompanied by the introduction of flaws, which have a deteriorating effect on the ultimate properties of the fibres.