A reactive cyclodextrin was synthesised by reacting β-cyclodextrin with itaconic acid to enable it to fix permanently onto cellulosic materials. Because synthesis is a complicated process that is greatly influenced by many factors, the response surface methodology was applied in this study to optimise production. To investigate the efficiency of the esterification reaction, the amount of carboxyl groups and the double bond content of the end product were measured and employed as the responses. The 3D response surface plots and the contour plots derived from the mathematical models were applied to evaluate the interactive effects of parameters affecting the reaction, such as itaconic acid and catalyst concentrations, material to liquor ratio, temperature and time of reaction. The amount of carboxyl groups and the double bond content of cyclodextrin itaconate (about 175 and 150 meq./100 g CDI, respectively) in the optimum conditions indicated that one to two itaconic acid molecules could react with cyclodextrin according to the esterification reaction. In addition, the presence of the new supplementary groups on cyclodextrin could effect on the aggregation behaviour of this new cyclodextrin derivative as demonstrated by dynamic light scattering and AFM.