This paper reports on oriented poly(vinyl alc.)/single-walled carbon nanotube (PVA/SWNT) tapes that were prepd. by a mild processing route, involving the use of di-Me sulfoxide (DMSO) as a solvent. Composite films with homogeneously dispersed SWNTs were cast from soln. and drawn into oriented tapes using solid-state drawing. The obtained tapes showed the extraordinary reinforcing effects of the SWNTs, as the addn. of 1.0 wt% SWNTs tripled the tensile strength of the PVA tapes. Micromech. anal. showed that the nanotube contribution to the composite strength was as high as 88 GPa, which is very high when compared to other data reported in the literature, and for the first time begins to exploit the theor. strength of nanotubes.