This study presents a thin and lightweight single-slab and two types of double-slab microwave absorbing composites by coating Ni to a glass fiber via an electroless plating technique. In contrast to conventional absorber production processes that use nano-conductive particles, such as carbon black, carbon nano-tubes, and carbon nanofibers, this newly proposed absorber applies a very thin conductive coating on a glass fiber through an electroless plating technique, involving mass production, to obtain the designed permittivity with excellent performance and a reflection loss below -10 dB (90% absorption) in the X-band (8.2-12.4 GHz) without using nano-conductive particles. The designed total thicknesses of the newly proposed single-slab and two types of double-slab absorbers correspond to 1.84 mm, 2.03 mm, and 2.29 mm, respectively. Although the newly proposed two types of double-slab absorbers are lightweight and very thin when compared to conventional absorbers, they exhibit excellent absorption performance in the almost X-band. The interlaminar shear strength was verified according to ASTM D-2344 by using a Ni-coated glass/epoxy composite to examine the mechanical performance of the proposed composite structure. From an electrical and mechanical performance viewpoint, the results confirm that the newly proposed absorber with Ni-coated glass fibers offers significant potential applications in stealth technology. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.