So I thought, let's see what happens when I don't use any at all. The results are mixed. While the handles fit comfortable on my shoulder and stay put they also warped into a curled wrinkled mess. I should note that the handles are 100% linen. Maybe results would be different if it were cotton?(60 days later)Not that I mind. One friend even said the handles go with the relaxed style of the bag. I still love the secret pocket in the front. Perfect place to hold my keys. I always know where to find them when my arms are full of groceries.
Next time I'll definitely put something in there to help stabilize the fibers to make them 'just right'. But I just wanted to see what I can get away with.