Cutinases (EC 184.108.40.206) are extracellular enzymes that belong to a/ß hydrolases. They are serine esterases with the classical Ser-His-Asp triad similar to several lipases and serine proteases. In nature, cutinases catalyse the hydrolysis of the polyesters of the cuticle and the suberin layers, which protect plant surfaces. Cutinase production is typical for plant pathogenic fungi, but also, bacterial cutinases and cutinases from plant pollen have been discovered. Cutinases are promiscuous esterases catalysing reactions with a wide range of different substrates, such as short-chain soluble esters, water-insoluble medium and long-chain triacylglycerols, polyesters and waxes. In the current work, an overview is given on suggested applications of cutinases in the textile industry, in laundry detergents, in processing of biomass and food, in biocatalysis and in detoxification of environmental pollutants. The applications are discussed from the point of view of cutinase properties - which properties of cutinases are already advantageous and which would be desired. In addition, improvements that have been made on cutinase performance by protein and reaction engineering are reviewed.