Fibrosis is a common and intractable condition associated with various pathologies. It is characterized by accumulation of an excessive amount of extracellular matrix molecules that primarily include collagen type I. IL-6 is a profibrotic cytokine that is elevated in the prototypic fibrotic autoimmune condition systemic sclerosis and is known to induce collagen I expression, but the mechanism(s) behind this induction are currently unknown. Using healthy dermal fibroblasts in vitro, we analyzed the signaling pathways that underscore the IL-6-mediated induction of collagen. We show that IL-6 trans signaling is important and that the effect is dependent on STAT3; however, the effect is indirect and mediated through enhanced TGF-β signaling and the classic downstream cellular mediator Smad3. This is due to induction of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonist Gremlin-1, and we show that Gremlin-1 is profibrotic and is mediated through canonical TGF-β signaling.