1. Why does my basket smell a little like wet straw? Baskets are woven when the materials (water reeds/palm leaves) are still green and somewhat wet because this makes the material pliable. It is normal for them to smell like "wet straw" as they dry out - this will become less noticeable over time.
2. It seems like the leather is a little oily - is this normal? Yes. The leather is treated using a natural process that involves oiling the leather, which protects it from dirt and water. I have been carrying baskets for years and have never had a problem with the oils rubbing off on my skin, clothing, or anything else.
3. Why isn't the bottom of my basket flat? Sometimes the basket needs to be reshaped a little after shipping, which is extremely easy to do. If you want to flatten the bottom of the basket, get the bottom of the basket wet, put something flat and heavy in it, and let it dry thoroughly.
4. Why don't you include more packaging in the box? We strive to reduce our environmental footprint on the planet and therefore use as little packaging as possible. In general, baskets do not need packaging to protect them in shipping because they are pliable and strong.
5. Do any of your baskets have sewn in lining? Nope, I try to avoid sewn in linings. I believe one of the great things about a basket is that if it gets dirty, you can hose it off, inside and out. Good as new! If it had a liner, this would not be possible, decreasing the potential life of the basket.
6. How strong are the handles and will the steel rivets that attach the handles to the basket ever rust? The handles are really strong and breakage is rare, as is a rusty rivet. The rivets add to the strength of the handles and are a reflection of high-quality construction, so don't be afraid to fill your basket up!