The invention of electrospinning has solved the problem of producing micro-and nanoscaled metal oxide fibres in bulk quantities. However, until now no methods have been available for preparing a single nanofibre of a metal oxide. In this work, the direct drawing method was successfully applied to produce metal oxide (SnO2, TiO2, ZrO2, HfO2 and CeO2) fibres with a high aspect ratio (up to 10 000) and a diameter as small as 200 nm. The sol-gel processing includes consumption of precursors obtained from alkoxides by aqueous or non-aqueous polymerization. Shear thinning of the precursors enables pulling a material into a fibre. This rheological behaviour can be explained by sliding of particles owing to external forces. Transmission (propagation) of light along microscaled fibres and their excellent surface morphology suggest that metal oxide nanofibres can be directly drawn from sol precursors for use in integrated photonic systems.