DALTON, Ga. -- Linda Harlow has joined Oriental Weavers’ Sphinx division as managing director of a new subsidiary that will market handmade rugs, according to John Graham, president. Harlow, formerly rug buyer for Macy’s West, will oversee all aspects of the new division, which is called Oasis. The company’s first production collections are planned for January 2002, according to Graham.

Harlow had been with Macy’s West for 25 years, serving in various buying capacities. She has been consistently recognized as one of the top rug buyers in the US. In her new post with Oasis, she will remain headquartered in the San Francisco area.

The development of the Oasis division is part of an industry trend that has seen the blurring of lines between the handmade and machine-made rug business. Nourison, a handmade importer, began marketing machine-made rugs two years ago. Feizy added machine-made rugs last year. Shaw and Mohawk have recently added imported handmade rugs. 828 Trading, a machine-made importer, introduced its first hand-knotted rugs last week.

“Harlow’s extensive background and knowledge of the rug business, and her impeccable talent for color, style and design, make her the perfect person to spearhead this new business venture,” Graham said.