Commercial starch gets expensive if you buy a lot of it. I suppose that is true for anything. Am I blowing your mind with my wisdom?
Anywho, it’s super-easy to make your own starch – just dump in a tablespoon or more of starch in a bottle of water, and shake shake shake! The starch will settle out fairly quickly, so I give it a quick shake every time I use it. I also add a little fresh scent – just a drop of smelly oils I like.
Pluses: Never running out of starch in the middle of the night. Less wasted containers and less money. I don’t know if it’s a plus, but it is edible and if, say, you were trapped in your quilting studio after an earthquake, you could drink your starch for sustenance.
Drawbacks? Well, the shaking could be annoying if you don’t like shaking stuff. Since bugs can potentially eat starch, you need to wash your starchy things before storing them. I wash all my stuff so this is no problem. Plus I generally store stuff with cedar which I hear bugs don’t like.
Sometimes it can leave starchy white blotches on your fabric. These wash out and some commercial starches do this too so it doesn’t bother me.
I have been using Tapioca Starch, because that’s the kind that we have. I think cornstarch would be a more common option but we used all ours up thickening sauces and keep forgetting to buy more. I use tapioca starch when making ice cream and sorbets to keep them softer when they freeze and I use it to make my quilts nice and crispy. So there you are. Science!
A side note, several recipes on-line recommend cooking your starch into the water such as here. I imagine this would give you a better product, but would take away from the extreme laziness bonus of the no-cook method, which I deem “perfectly good enough” so do the fancier version at your own discretion.