The present work reports an easy route for synthesis of polyaniline (PAn) in stable aqueous solution/dispersion form, using poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) as an efficient steric stabilizer. Resulting composite successfully combines desirable physical properties like mechanical strength, solution processibility and electrical conductivity of PVA and PAn components. The composite was subjected to versatile characterizations and its different physical properties (especially optical, thermal, mechanical and electrical) were explored. Free standing films can be obtained from the solutions, which exhibit important microwave shielding property over the X-band. This has enhanced the importance of this material to a large extent. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.