Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and poly( N-vinyl pyrrolidone) (PVP) were blended to synthesize hydrogels by 60Co γ-ray irradiation. A series of hydrogels were prepared with three compositions, i.e. PVP:CMC = 5:5, 6:4 and 7:3. The properties of the hydrogels such as gel fraction, gel strength, swelling behavior and moisture retention were investigated. Compared with pure PVP and CMC hydrogels, PVP/CMC blend hydrogels possessed improved gel strength, flexibility and transparency. As the content of PVP in PVP/CMC blend hydrogels increased, the gel fraction increased while the swelling rate decreased. The hydrogels with optimal properties were obtained in a composition of PVP/CMC = 6/4 with sterilization dose (25 kGy) and further characterized by FT-IR and SEM. Properties concerning the application of wound dressing were performed by comparison with a commercial hydrogel wound dressing to find a similar moisture retention capability and improved swelling rate. The improved properties as well as the cheapness of the materials suggest that PVP/CMC blend hydrogel can be good candidate as wound dressing.