"wool is so itchy!" if you have felt that, that’s not just an emotion; your feeling is based on actual science.
first, the quality of the wool being used matters - the larger the diameter of the strands of wool being used (measured in microns, where one micron equals 1 x 10-6 meters in length), the itchier it will feel. the narrower the diameter, the softer it will feel.
at baa, we use fleece of the narrowest micron wool so it feels like pima cotton instead of itchy wool.
second, the shorter the fiber, the more the wool will stick out and feel picky.
at baa, we only shear our sheep once a year to ensure a very long staple fiber.
third, the processing of the wool affects its softness. the more the wool is processed, the itchier it will feel.
at baa, because the sheep have been wearing jackets to protect the fleece from the elements, the wool is processed only in mild soap. and by keeping the wool dye-free, another harsh processing step is avoided.