Layered double hydroxides (LDHs), either having nitrate counter anions or intercalated with organic molecules, have been for the first time partially exfoliated in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to form a transparent suspension. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images showed that both the lateral size and the thickness of the LDH nanoplatelets were decreased after the exfoliation. The organic-LDHs maintained their intercalation characteristics, i.e. the thermal stability improvement of the incorporated organic anions, after the exfoliation in DMSO. Transparent ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) nanocomposite films containing partially exfoliated LDHs intercalated with UV absorbers were prepared using DMSO as the processing solvent. As the first reported example of a highly transparent LDH/polymer composite, the obtained composite film had a visible light transmittance of 90% (comparable to that of the pure matrix), was flexible and exhibited an excellent UV-shielding capability and thermal stability.