Natural fiber-based composite materials have found wide applications in Automotive, Aerospace, and Marine Industries. The current study presents the composite preparation, mechanical characterization, and machining behavior of hybrid composite. The fabricated hybrid composite consists of natural fibers (hemp and flax), resin (epoxy and hardener), and S-2304 wire mesh of different orientations (45° and 90°). The mechanical characterization was performed through tensile, flexural, impact, and hardness with ASTM samples. The FRW45 hybrid composite had shown an excellent tensile strength of 43 MPa and 31.57% higher than that of FRW90. Moreover, the FRW45 (82 MPa) flexural strength has shown better results than the HRW45 (76 MPa) composite. The machining performance was studied by drilling experiments, designed by the central composite design (CCD) to study the significant input parameters such as type of composite, speed, and feed rate. The obtained results revealed that torque reduces with the enhancement in feed rate for all types of composites. It was also noticed that at 500 rpm spindle speed, the delamination factor was comparatively 35.03% lower in HRW45 and 58% in HRW90 compared to HR composite. The fiber fracture voids and delamination failures were observed through fractography analysis. © The Author(s) 2021.