Applique is a sewing technique that involves stitching a small piece of fabric onto a larger one to make a pattern or design. You could decorate your jeans using applique, sewing flowers and stars on them.
When you use applique to decorate something like a pillow or a handbag, you often cut out fabric shapes and sew or glue them on. Applique is the technique that's used to make sports or college banners as well, attaching letters to the triangular fabric. You can also spell the word with an accented e, appliqué, which gives you a clue about its pronunciation — the last syllable rhymes with "hay." The French root word is appliquer, "to apply."