Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) was blended with m-aramid as an N-halamine precursor for imparting antimicrobial activity. A series of PVA/m-aramid blend films were produced with different ratios of PVA/m-aramid by weight (100/0, 100/2, 100/6, 100/10, and 100/50). The films were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The FTIR spectra of the PVA/m-aramid blends are a combination of the spectra of pure PVA and of pure m-aramid. However, the peak intensity in the m-aramid decreases with decreasing m-aramid content from 50 to 2 wt % in PVA. It implies the compatibility of m-aramid in the PVA/m-aramid blend films. Furthermore, a single glass transition temperature (Tg) for all blend films by DSC confirms that PVA/m-aramid is successfully miscible. The crystallinity of PVA/m-aramid blend films decreases slightly with increasing m-aramid content in the blend films. This agrees with the results obtained by WAXD. However, melting point and thermal stability of the blend films increases with increasing m-aramid content in the blend films. Chlorinated PVA/2% m-aramid blend film produces about 5.7 log reduction of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria at 30 min contact, implying sufficient antimicrobial activity. Therefore, PVA/m-aramid blend films may serve as a novel material for biomedical applications. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011.