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FAQ.

I heard the bags have a slight smoky scent — what’s that about?
Each bag is woven by hand, and then smoked over coconut husks, which strengthens the rattan and gives it that warm, golden color. The bags are then dried out in the Balinese sun for several days to let the smoke waft. Once across the world in our Brooklyn HQ, they are aired out again for several days. There may still be a residual coconut smoke scent when you receive your bag. We love and embrace the smokiness — it reminds us that this is a natural product made by real people with real materials from the Earth. The scent will dissipate over time, but if you want to speed up the process, see the next question!

I’m sensitive to the smoke scent, is there anything I can do?
Yes! Air your bag out with the lid open (when applicable) in a dry place, ideally where it may catch a breeze.

How shall I care for my bag?
We recommend storing your bag in a dry place and kept away from water when possible. Our bags love the beach, but they’re best kept on the sand and away from the sea. Watch for any stray pieces of rattan that may create a sharp edge if not tended to. See two questions down for more about this!

Can I wear silk with my bag?
We don’t recommend it. Keep in mind that straw is, by nature, a brittle material, and if a piece of stray rattan comes into contact with a delicate fabric like silk, it may snag. And we don’t want that!

What can I do about a piece of stray rattan on my bag?
This may happen and it’s completely normal, don’t fret! If a piece of stray rattan juts out from the weave, it’s easily fixed with a pair of nail trimmers. Simply clip down the excess! 

Are the straps adjustable?
They are not, but if you would like to shorten your strap by a few inches, you can tie a knot at the very top of the strap, which gives it a nice vintage look. We’ve seen a number of stylish ladies wear their bags this way and it looks chic!

Can I wear my bag cross-body style?
You sure can! The Marfa, Harper, Rose, and Lily can all be worn cross-body.

What if I want a shorter strap to wear my bag like a shoulder bag?
We have the Rose, Harper, and Marfa available with shorter straps and will wear like a shoulder bag. Send us an email at: customerservice@bembien.com with your order number specifying that you would like the shorter strap version.

Are there any other shoulder bags?
Yes! The Sofia.

Do you have any bags I can hold by the top handles, Jane Birkin-style?
We do! The Stella, Chloe, and Giorgia are all top handle bags and do not have a longer shoulder strap.